Fund briefs, April 2007

Susquehanna formally launches

Susquehanna International Group in March formally launched Susquehanna Growth Equity, a venture and growth capital group that will invest between $50 million and $100 million per year into companies in the software, business services and specialty finance sectors.

The team for the Bala Cynwyd, Penn.-based group includes former TL Ventures principal Amir Goldman and Natural Gas Partners and EnerTech Capital pro Vincenzo La Ruffa.

Susquehanna International has already made two investments. The firm in January invested in CashEdge Inc., a provider of financial services; and the firm has also backed 29West, a provider of messaging solutions for financial institutions.

Nokia FoF targets China, India

Nokia Growth Partners has formed a $100 million fund-of-funds that will invest in venture capital funds focused on China and India.

The fund will be led by new Managing Partners John Gardner and Paul Asel. Gardner was previously a partner with BlueRun Ventures (formerly known as Nokia Venture Partners), while Asel led the India tech investment practice for the International Finance Corp.

They are joined by Managing Partners Rob Trice, Tapio Siik and Markus Salolainen, who were co-founders of Nokia Growth Partners in December 2004.

Nokia Growth Partners now manages more than $200 million in assets between its fund-of-funds and its venture capital fund.

Scale raises $400M

Scale Venture Partners announced in March that it held a $400 million final close on Scale Venture Partners II. It is the first fund since Scale (formerly known as BA Venture Partners) was spun out of Bank of America as an independent entity last year.

Scale said that 12 LPs committed to the fund, including Key Capital, Lexington Partners, Liberty Mutual, Macquarie Global Private Equity Fund, Montague Newhall, Pantheon Ventures, Paul Capital Partners and Storebrand. Probitas Partners served as placement agent.

Zero2IPO raises $16.5M

Zero2IPO, a research and publishing company that tracks the Chinese venture capital market, has raised $16.5 million for an angel fund, according to a regulatory filing.

Zero2IPO, which is based in Beijing, is working with Startup Capital Ventures in Los Altos, Calif., to raise the investment fund, called Zero2IPO China Angel Fund I. Zero2IPO listed IDG Technology Venture Investment III, the venture arm of publishing firm International Data Group, as a beneficial owner of the fund last summer. It had raised $6.2 million at that time. It has since added the Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, according to the regulatory filing.

True Ventures raises sidecar

True Ventures has raised an additional $4 million from investors, according to a recent regulatory filing. The fund, called True Ventures I-A, is a sidecar to the $155 million True Ventures I fund that the firm raised last fall. New limited partners include The New York Times Co. and the Stephen G. Woodsum Trust.

Other limited partners in the sidecar fund include the Dempsey Family Limited Partnership, Victor E. Parker Jr., and Dunlap-Black Investments.

Limited partners in True Ventures’ primary fund include Paul Capital Partners Top Tier Investments III, Sequoia Holdings, Park Street Capital Private Equity Fund VII, Argonaut 20 and Ohana Holdings.

The firm, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has invested in blogging software company Automattic, instant messaging company Meebo, mobile phone software company ScanR, blog search engine Sphere, mobile entertainment company SendMe and online news site GigaOm.

Adams seeks $350M

Adams Capital Management is raising its fourth fund. The early stage venture firm is seeking $350 million to invest in IT, networking and semiconductors. Adams raised $420 million for its third fund in 2000. The firm has offices in Austin, Texas, Palo Alto, Calif., Boston, and Pittsburgh.

MPM closes on $550M for new health care fund

MPM Capital last month closed on $550 million for MPM BioVentures IV. The Boston-based firm, which also maintains offices in San Francisco, invests in biotech and medical technology companies. Fund III raised $900 million in 2002.

Limited partners in the new fund include GE Healthcare Financial Services, Itochu, the Kauffman Foundation, the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, AlpInvest, the Dow Employees’ Pension Plan, Skandia and the Union Carbide Employees’ Pension Plan.

Though the fund was closed last month, MPM has made at least seven investments from it since the second quarter of 2006.

S3 Ventures targets $100M

Austin, Texas-based S3 Ventures has raised $20 million toward its $100 million inaugural fund, according to a regulatory filing. The firm is led by Brian Smith, a former managing director with Convergent Ventures, and former founder, chairman and CEO of Crossroads Systems.

Piper Jaffray halfway to third FoF

Piper Jaffray Private Capital has raised $125 million of a targeted $250 million fund-of-funds. The fund, called Piper Jaffray LBO Fund III, expects to invest about $150 million in venture funds and $100 million in buyouts. —VCJ staff