Fund Briefs, November 2007

Braemar plugs into $250M

Braemar Energy Ventures, a New York-based firm focused on early and mid-stage energy technology opportunities, has closed its second fund with $250 million in capital commitments. That’s up from just $60 million it raised for its first fund in 2003.

LPs include MassMutual, AlpInvest Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments, Robeco, GIC Special Investments, Macquarie and the PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund (sponsored by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System).

Braemar invests in companies operating in waste-to-energy, fuel processing, batteries, photovoltaics, energy-related IT and clean coal. Among the companies in Braemar’s first fund is EnerNOC, which launched a $97 million IPO in May 2007. The Boston-based company had raised about $27 million in funding from Braemar, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital and others.

Thomas Weisel VC arm plans spinoff

A spinoff of the venture capital arm of San Francisco investment bank and asset manager Thomas Weisel Partners is expected to begin raising a new fund early next year, according to a report in Private Equity Insider. The new firm, to be called Intercept Partners, will be led by David Crowder and Andy Sessions, general partners and co-founders of Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. They are expected to set a fund-raising goal of about $175 million and be based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Thomas Weisel is expected to invest in the spinoff. The first Thomas Weisel venture fund raised $255 million in 2000. It invested in more than 30 startups, primarily in the areas of software, Internet and communications technology.

Foundry nears fund close

The Foundry Group, formed by the Colorado-based team of Mobius Venture Capital, has held a $158.75 million first close on its debut fund.

Limited partners include Guardian Life, Morgan Stanley, Parish Capital and UTIMCO, the University of Texas Investment Management Co.

Foundry initially planned to raise $175 million for its inaugural fund, but has since bumped it up to $225 million with a final close expected within the next month.

The Foundry team includes Brad Feld, Seth Levine, Ryan McIntyre, Jason Mendelson and Chris Wand. Their old firm, Mobius, which is winding down, last month had its second big exit in the last couple of months when Sling Media was bought for $380 million.

Third Rock closes debut fund

A group of former life science executives has raised $378 million for Third Rock Ventures, a new Boston-based firm that will invest in early stage life sciences companies.

The firm expects to announced its first deal by the end of the year. Third Rock was co-founded by several industry veterans, including Mark Levin, former CEO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and a onetime partner with Mayfield Fund until 1994.

General Catalyst nears close for fifth fund

General Catalyst Partners is nearing a $600 million final close for its fifth fund, according to VentureWire. The fund includes a $200 million carve-out pool for larger, more mature companies. The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm raised $400 million for its fourth fund in 2005

FTVentures shy of $600M goal

San Francisco-based FTVentures has raised between $350 million and $450 million for its third venture fund, well below its $600 million target, according to Private Equity Insider. The firm, previously known as Financial Technology Ventures, began raising the fund in early 2006. FTVentures invests in software and other tech companies that support financial services. It raised $423 million for its second fund in 2001 and $200 million for its first fund in 1999, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of VCJ).

Draper’s SLC affiliate eyes $150M

Wasatch Venture Fund is targeting $150 million for its fourth early stage fund, with a first close expected soon. The Salt Lake City-based firm is an affiliate of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and focuses on opportunities in the IT and life sciences sectors. The firm raised about $58 million for its last early stage fund in 2001, and it has also raised a $12 million fund dedicated to investments in New Mexico.

Gilde glides to close on second fund

Gilde Healthcare Partners has closed its second venture capital fund with about $210 million in capital commitments. The Netherlands-based firm focuses on emerging companies in the therapeutic, diagnostic and medical device sectors. The firm invests in Europe and the United States.

Spanish VC fund launches

Ysios Capital Partners of Barcelona, Spain, is raising $92 million for its debut fund, which will focus on venture capital deals in the biotech space. If it is successful, it would be largest biotech VC fund ever raised in Spain.

Ysios will support early stage companies, later stage companies and pharmaceutical spinouts. The firm says that 30% of the fund will focus on companies based outside of Spain. —VCJ staff