Frontier nears final close

DFJ Frontier, the Draper Fisher Jurvetson affiliate that invests in seed stage deals on the West Coast, inched closer to its $60 million target as it recently raised more than $55 million from investors, according to a recent regulatory filing.

The target of DFJ Frontier Fund II is nearly three times larger than the $22 million fund that the firm raised in 2002. The current fund has a hard-cap of $80 million.

The recent close is $1.7 million more than what it had raised in February, according to the filing, suggesting the firm may have changed gears to focus on investing rather than fund-raising.

DFJ Frontier has backed six companies so far this year, according to data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ), maintaining the investment pace it set during 2007.

The firm has offices in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Sacramento, Calif.

CalPERS connection

Frontier’s major limited partner is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which committed $20 million to the firm’s first fund, $12.5 million of which had been called down at the end of 2006, according to regulatory documents. The pension fund reports that the cash out and remaining value of its commitment is $10.4 million, for a return of negative 9.6% since 2002.

Frontier’s other limited partners include Golden State Investment Fund and Oregon Investment Fund.

DFJ Frontier is working with the Legend Merchant Group as a placement agent.

Fund-raising efforts come on the heels of two acquisitions from its portfolio last year. The firm sold VoIP quality of service software maker CrystalVoice for an undisclosed amount in January 2007 and high school sports Internet portal MaxPreps for $43 million in March 2007.

The firm will likely receive help from DFJ, which has renewed its commitment to its affiliate network and has changed the way its members share carry to ensure they will work together.

David Cremin, Frank Foster and Scott Lenet are listed as DFJ Frontier managing partners on a recent regulatory filing. The firm’s website also lists Jim Schraith and former Red Herring Magazine Publisher Tony Perkins as venture partners.

The firm has also closed on a $1.45 million sidecar fund raised from 17 investors. —Alexander Haislip