Encore’s First Fund Rakes In $50 Million –

LOS ANGELES – New venture firm Encore Capital Partners closed Encore Venture Partners LP at $50 million in early July.

Joe Reece and Stephen DesJardins, two investment bankers from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, founded Encore to capitalize on the bevy of media and technology companies in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Marketing efforts for the fund began in April, as the two founders placed the offering themselves with institutional limited partners.

Encore intends to act as the lead investor on its deals, which will have initial commitments in the $500,000 to $5 million range.

“If there is an opportunity for a [strategic] partner to enable development of a portfolio company then that fund can take the lead and we will co-invest,” Mr. DesJardins said.

Mr. Reece said the firm will evaluate larger opportunities as L.P.s have indicated additional funding will be readily available should it be required. He also said the general partners will encourage limited partners, who ponied up a minimum investment of $25 million, to co-invest alongside the fund.

The firm expects to invest in 20 to 25 companies from seed to later rounds of financing. The two founders said early deal flow has been heavy, although neither would predict when Encore’s first commitment might occur.