Fund Briefs, August 2012

Institutional Venture Partners topped out at $1 billion for its latest fund, the firm’s 14th and the largest in its 32-year history. Overall, things will remain status quo at the firm, which is keeping the same team, same LPs, and same investing strategy. Fundraising for the oversubscribed fund began in February, at the firm’s annual meeting, with the goal of raising $750 million. Efforts were likely expedited by a couple of big wins for IVP. Portfolio companies HomeAway and Zynga both launched huge IPOs last year. The firm is also an investor in Twitter and the file sharing company Dropbox, which raised a $250 million late stage round in October 2011 at a reported valuation of $1 billion. IVP, which focuses on late stage IT, raised $750 million for its previous fund in 2010.

The Mayfield Fund closed its 14th fund in July with $365 million in commitments from 40 LPs, passing an initial target of $300 million. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm, which focuses on early stage IT investing, raised $395 million for its 13th fund, which it began investing in mid-2009, and $375 million for its 12th vehicle, which closed in 2005. Mayfield will reportedly begin investing the new fund within the next six to nine months. The firm did not disclose the names of LPs, but Managing Director Navin Chaddha has said that the firm added a couple of unnamed universities, state pensions and foundations to its roster of investors. As expected, Fund 13 does not include Yogen Dalal and Janice Roberts as directors. Dalal, who joined the firm in 1991, and Roberts, are listed as venture partners in Fund XIV.

North Carolina VC firm Pappas Ventures is reportedly courting LPs for a fund that could exceed $300 million. According to Thomson Reuters data, Pappas Ventures has hardly raised more than $100 million in any of its prior funds, which might make the latest effort seem like a tall order. But factoring in Pappas Ventures’ backing of companies like Plexxikon (which was the largest VC-backed M&A exit in 2011 at $930 million) and biotech firm Tesaro, which went public in June, and it seems that LPs will have numerous assets on which to bet. The VC has typically done about a dozen investments per fund in biotech and life sciences companies. Limited partners in prior funds have included the Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and the North Carolina Department of the State Treasurer, according to Thomson Reuters. In 1998, Pappas Ventures raised its first fund, a $40 million vehicle. In 2000, the VC raised AM Pappas Life Sciences Ventures II at $102 million; in 2005 it raised a third fund at $108 million; and in 2009 it raised AM Pappas Life Science Ventures IV, another $102 million fund. Arthur Pappas founded the firm in 1994, and, according to its website, it has managed $350 million.

Seattle-based W Fund, a $20 million, university-focused fund, launched recently after officially closing in late May. The fund aims to back startups spun out of the University of Washington and other state research institutions. Investment decisions will be made by an investment committee that includes Tom Alberg and Greg Gottesman from Madrona Venture Group; Steve Gillis from ARCH Venture Partners; Lucinda Stewart and Chad Waite from OVP Venture Partners; and Ron Howell and Luciana Simoncini from WRF Capital. W Fund is expected to invest in 20 or more startups between 2012 and 2016. 

Dell Ventures in mid-July unveiled a $60 million early stage investment fund, the Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund, to invest in five to 10 storage startups. The corporate VC said investments would average between $3 million to $5 million a round. The fund is to complement M&A and internal R&D.

Scott Savitz, the founder and former CEO of, has launched Data Point Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund based in Boston. The fund will back Internet startups in mobile, gaming, social networking, online payment solutions, comparison shopping and ecommerce.

San Francisco-based venture firm Blumberg Capital is planning to raise up to $100 million for its third fund, Blumberg Capital III L.P., according to a regulatory filing. The early stage investor focuses on information technology startups, and has operations in New York and Israel. Portfolio companies include social media dashboard HootSuite; local mobile commerce platform Dealsquare; online advertisement verification platform DoubleVerify; and Fanzila, a maker of social apps for Facebook.

Braemar Energy Ventures has closed its third fund, Braemar Energy Ventures III LP, with $300 million. The fund comes in higher than Braemar’s $250 million Fund II, and will focus on venture and expansion stage energy technology companies that aim to deliver cleaner, cheaper, more efficient and reliable energy technology. Returning LPs include MassMutual, Alpinvest Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments, Macquarie and GIC Special Investments. New LPs include Munich Re, HarbourVest, the State of Rhode Island, Rothschild Investment Trust and Invesco on behalf of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Braemar Energy Ventures was formed in 2002 and has offices in New York and Boston.

Industry Ventures has closed Industry Ventures Partnership Holdings II and II-A, with a total of $65 million of committed capital. Formed in 2000, Industry Ventures manages a family of funds that invest in secondary direct investments, limited partnership interests and other special situations. Industry Ventures is based in San Francisco with an office in Washington, D.C.

Health care services investor Lemhi Ventures has launched its second fund with $150 million in commitments. The firm said it will focus on companies that address how health care services are financed, how health care information and transactions are processed, and how care is delivered. Portfolio companies include Recondo Technology, a maker of hospital revenue cycle software; enterprise cloud-computing company Shareable Ink; and benefits administration startup PlanSource. Lemhi Ventures is based in Wayzata, Minn.

Compiled by Clancy Nolan