Frazier Turns IT, Keeps Health Care –

SEATTLE – Frazier & Co., a Seattle-based venture firm known for its domain experience in the health-care market, will enter the world of information technology investing this summer, said Alan Frazier, general partner and founder of Frazier & Co.

The firm had been thinking about venturing into the IT space for a couple of years now, as the health-care industry has became increasingly influenced by technology, Frazier said, but decided to act on the idea at this point, because the right team was available.

Frazier and Dan Rosen, previously general manager of New Technology at Microsoft Research, will be co-managing partners of the new vehicle. They will invest the fund together with General Partner Richard von Riesen and Venture Partner Gary Gigot, an active angel investor in the Seattle area.

Frazier Technology Ventures I, will be the first of a family of IT funds created under the Frazier infrastructure, but will be run as a separate company, co-existing with the health-care funds, Rosen said. The firm decided not to join the old and new entities together because of the recent failure of multi-line funds and firms, Frazier said.

The vehicle is expected to hold a first close mid-summer and will back wireless, integrated Internet and bio-informatics entities, focusing on the Pacific Northwest and Midwest regions. The investors intend to catch the next set of revolutionary technologies with this fund, von Riesen said.

By joining the Frazier organization, the new entity benefits from the existing infrastructure, which allows the IT team to concentrate on investing. Frazier, on the other hand, wants to emerge as a leader in the e-health and bio-informatics space and will benefit from the internal domain expertise the new team will bring, Frazier said.

Frazier has committed about 50% of its most recent vehicle, the $220 million Frazier HealthCare III that focuses on biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical services, medical devices and traditional health-care services companies. The firm plans to raise another strictly health-care focused fund early next year, Frazier said.

Limited partners in the new fund will be a mix of high-net-worth individuals and institutions, Rosen said, adding that there might be some crossover between investors in Frazier’s health-care and IT funds.