Earlybird Anticipates Initial Close –

HAMBURG, Germany/PALO ALTO, Calif. – Earlybird Venture Capital L.L.C. expects a December initial close on $75 million to $100 million for its inaugural fund, which is capped at $200 million.

The new venture firm was created in October following the merger between German venture firm Earlybird Venture Capital GmbH & Co KG and California-based Veritas Venture Partners. Earlybird’s focus on information technology, Veritas’ specialization in health care and the importance of having a presence in the United States and Europe were the main reasons behind the decision to launch the firm, Partner Vera Kallmeyer said. The two firms “complement each other perfectly.”

Earlybird will invest in early-stage information technology, including selected Internet opportunities, as well as early- to late-stage health-care companies. The firm also will focus on companies in the U.S. and abroad that have plans for transcontinental expansion. Earlybird expects to invest the vehicle in about 10 to 15 companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. The size of initial investments will range from $750,000 to $5 million per deal, but the amount the firm will reserve for follow-on investments has not yet been determined.

Veritas began raising the $100 million Veritas Venture Partners L.P. in June and had about half the capital committed at the time of the merger. Veritas combined most of that capital with Earlybird Venture Capital III, targeted at $100 million, to create the joint Earlybird Venture Capital L.L.C.

Prior to the merger, Earlybird launched the parallel Earlybird Venture Capital I and II in 1997, which together totaled about $60 million. The firm solely invested in German companies.

Following the merger, Earlybird’s eight-member advisory board joined forces with Veritas’ five-member board. The group meets face-to-face at least once a year and remains in close daily contact.

Limited partners range from high-net-worth individuals to traditional institutional investors.

The firm is led by five partners: Dr. Hendrik Brandis in Munich, Rolf Mathies and Christian Nagel in Hamburg, and Roland Manger and Kallmeyer in the Palo Alto office.