Commonwealth Launches Fund II –

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Commonwealth Capital Ventures plans a February launch for the $225 million-targeted Commonwealth Capital Ventures III LP, which is expected to wrap in the second quarter, said Justin Perreault, a principal at the firm.

The vehicle will back 25 to 35 early-stage communications, e-commerce and Internet software and services companies primarily in the Northeastern United States, with individual investments ranging between $3 million to $5 million, Perreault said. The fund is expected to be completely committed within two years.

Commonwealth Capital Ventures II wrapped on $86.3 million in mid-1998 and at press time had invested in 18 companies, with several more expected to close in the first quarter of 2000. Some 80% of the fund is invested in information technology and 20% in health-care and specialty retail companies, Perreault said. The $61 million Commonwealth Capital Ventures I closed in 1995 and is completely invested in 23 companies. Commonwealth typically leads or co-leads most of its deals and takes a seat on the board of its portfolio companies about 70% of the time, Perreault said.

Commonwealth portfolio companies include Altiga Networks, a telecommunications equipment company being acquired by Cisco Systems Inc.; SmarterKids.com, an e-commerce company offering public educational products; and Centra Software Inc., an Internet collaboration software company that has registered for an initial public offering.

The venture firm’s investment team consists of its three Founders and General Partners Michael Fitzgerald, Jeff Hurst, Steve McCormack, along with General Partner Ron Chandra and Principal Perreault.

Commonwealth’s limited partners have included Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the State of Massachusetts, BancBoston Ventures, Tucker Anthony and GE Capital. The firm expects some of its previous investors to join Fund III, Perreault said.