Global fundraising recap

United States

Greycroft raises $200 mln fourth fund

Greycroft Partners has closed a fourth early stage fund at $200 million. The fund is a modest increase from the firm’s $175 million third core fund and matches in size its $200 million Greycroft Growth fund.

As part of the announcement, Ellie Wheeler was promoted to partner from principal, joining the firm’s five other investing partners in managing the new fund.

The firm said in a blog post that $200 million was the largest fund size to work with its syndicate-focused investment strategy that requires no minimum ownership threshold or board seat. At some point, additional capital goes from being an asset to a liability, the blog post said.

“We realize that staying small may be counterintuitive to some in the industry who believe that bigger is always better,” the post said. “In fact, on a per-partner basis, our capital under management shrunk from $35MM to $33MM between Fund III and Fund IV.” —Mark Boslet

Icon Ventures targets $260 mln for sixth fund

Icon Ventures is seeking to raise $260 million for its sixth fund, according to a regulatory filing.

The fund is unchanged in size from the firm’s previous $260 million fifth fund raised in 2012. Icon earlier this year rebranded itself from Jafco Ventures in an effort to raise its profile. With its fifth fund, it had reached out beyond its sole LP, Jafco Co Ltd of Japan, and attracted 22 additional investors.

No first close was reported.

Presence unveils $10 mln fund focused on VR, AR

Newly launched San Francisco-based venture firm Presence Capital announced it has raised an inaugural fund of $10 million focused on virtual reality and augmented reality startups.

The firm has already made several undisclosed investments from the fund in such companies as Harmonix, producer of the interactive game “Rock Band,” and virtual reality company Baobab.

Presence was co-founded Managing Partners Paul Bragiel, Amitt Mahajan and Phil Chen.

Autodesk unveils $100 mln venture fund

Software developer Autodesk is launching a $100 million investment fund, which is part of an initiative to “accelerate a cloud connected ecosystem in support of the future of making things.”

The company announced that the fund will focus on emerging companies that are providing services connnected to Autodesk’s Forge, a platform for 3-D developers.

Foundation raises $325 mln for eighth fund

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Foundation Capital has raised $325 million for its eighth fund.

Foundation Capital VIII will focus on various sectors, including consumer, IT and fintech. Initial average investments will be between $1 million and $10 million.

Slack rolls out $80 mln apps-focused fund

San Francisco-based Slack, which provides a messaging apps for teams, has raised $80 million for its apps-focused fund, according to a blog post on its site. The company said the Slack Fund will back “Slack-first” apps as well as B2B and enterprise tools that integrate Slack into their products.

Investors in the fund includ Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Spark Capital and Social Capital.

Ronny Conway’s A Capital targets $140 mln

A Capital, the firm founded by famed angel investor Ron Conway’s son, Ronny Conway, has set out to raise a $140 million second fund, according to a filing with the SEC.

A Capital‘s new fund, Capital Partners II, has yet to have a first close, according to the filing. The firm raised a $51 million first fund last year.

Express Scripts to provide $25 mln to Lewis & Clark fund

The Midwest venture firm Lewis & Clark Ventures has secured a $25 million funding commitment from Express Scripts for its healthcare innovation fund. The fund will back early-stage innovation that provide “smarter” pharmacy solutions for patients.

To download an Excel file: U.S.-based venture fundraising (November 2015)



iNovia Capital nears finish line with C$150 mln Fund IV

Montréal-based iNovia Capital, one of Canada’s best known venture firms, is close to wrapping up its fourth information technology fund, a source with knowledge of the matter told VCJ in early December.

The fund, targeted to raise C$150 million (US$112 million), is likely to close no later than the first quarter of 2016, the source said. If the target is reached, the fund will be iNovia’s largest to date, exceeding by 36 percent the C$110 million (US$82 million) raised by iNovia Investment Fund III LP in 2011.

While its LPs were not disclosed, Fund IV is “not having any problems attracting new and repeat investors,” the source said.

Backers of iNovia funds have included high net-worth and institutional investors.AEC, BDC Capital, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, McGill University Endowment Fund and Teralys Capital are some of the LPs known to have committed capital to prior funds.


Fund IV’s closing will cap an especially active period for iNovia. Over the course of 2015, the firm participated in a number of major transactions, including the C$80 million (US$60 million) Series C financing of Lightspeed in September, the largest Canadian venture deal in more than a year.

There have also been major portfolio exits. In April, Chango, a digital media company backed by iNovia and other VCs, was bought by Rubicon for US$122 million. —Kirk Falconer



American LPs return to Sofinnova

Healthcare-focused Sofinnova Partners has taken nine months to deliver its eighth fund, which weighed in at a hard cap of €300 million ($329 million).

After abandoning Sofinnova entirely during the Euro-crisis of 2012, when its €240 million Fund VII was raised, United States investors are again part of the firm’s LP base.

Sofinnova remains focused on biotech, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, investing in therapeutic solutions rather than diagnostics or services, Antoine Papiernik, managing partner at Sofinnova, told VCJ.

About two-thirds of the fund is earmarked for Europe, the rest for North America, and the firm will deploy €20 million to €25 million ($27 million) per company, often at the Series A stage initially, but also earlier in stealth mode deals.

While eight of Sofinnova’s 20 LPs are new, repeat commitments form the bulk of the capital and these include French institutions bpifrance and CNP; Norwegian pension fund KLP; and Swedish insurer Skandia –Alex Derber

Lift-off for maiden Paua fund

After five years’ reliance on its founders’ money, Berlin-based Paua Ventures has launched its first institutional fund with a $45 million first close.

The enterprise software, mobile and e-commerce-focused firm looks to invest mainly in Central and Eastern Europe and has already directed $9 million from Fund I into seven companies.

If Paua reaches its final target of $65 million, up to 20 new investments could be made in the next three years, each initially up to $2 million at seed and Series A stages.

Maximum investment per company is $6 million.

The European Investment Fund and metals distributor Klöckner & Co are Paua’s two named LPs. Others include wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs and industrial companies.

Prior to its fundraising, Paua used $2 million from management to build stakes in 11 businesses, four of which it has exited. –Alex Derber

Open Ocean steams ahead

Open Ocean Capital’s second investment vessel is afloat following an initial close supported by public investors from Europe and Finland.

The Helsinki-based firm has raised €71 million ($78 million) and is targeting €140 million ($154 million), which is more than three times the size of its first software fund.

The aim is to wrap up fundraising by summer 2016.

LPs include the European Investment Fund, Finnish Industry Investment, the Finnish State Pension Fund and private institutional investors such as CapMan and Ilmarinen, a pension provider.

Investing across Europe, mostly in Series A deals, Open Ocean focuses on enterprise SaaS, market networks, cloud infrastructure, big data and mobile solutions.

The firm was founded by Michael Widenius following the sale of MySQL AB to Sun Microsystems for $1 billion in 2008. –Alex Derber

Web entrepreneurs push ISAI beyond target

Internet-focused ISAI has more than doubled the size of its 2010 debut fund by rounding off a successor at €75 million ($82 million).

The Paris-based firm struck a €55 million ($60 million) first close in April 2015, and was able to broach its €70 million ($77 million) hard cap thanks to backing from French entrepreneurs based in the United States.

Up to 10 percent of the fund may be invested in the United States, ISAI Chairman and Managing Director Jean-David Chamboredon told VCJ.

The first close included commitments from about 60 Web entrepreneurs, as well as institutional investors bpifrance and Credit Mutuel Arkea.

ISAI Ventures II will invest from €750,000 to €2 million ($2 million) in early-stage deals and will also seek collaborative seed funding opportunities with business angels. –Alex Derber

Seventure racks up $175 mln for microbiome fund

Paris-based Seventure Partners has raised €160 million euros ($176 million) for its microbiome-focused Health for Life Capital fund.

Novartis Pharma AG recently joined the fund’s investor base. Health for Life Capital’s other backers include Danone, Tereos, Lesaffre, Bel, Tornier and the Danish Technology Institute.

Since launching in December 2013, the fund has made undisclosed investments in a number of companies that include Enterome, LNC, Maat pharma, Eligo bioscience, Targedys and Micropharma.



OrbiMed targets $300 mln for second Israel fund

OrbiMed Advisors is seeking to raise $300 million for its second Israel-focused fund, according to a regulatory filing. In 2011, OrbiMed closed its initial Israel-focused fund at $220 million.

500 collects $30 mln to back MENA startups

Mountain View, Calif.-based 500 Startups has raised $30 million for a fund that targets startups based in the Middle East and North Africa, as initially reported Arabian

The 500 Falcons fund will focus on making seed investments between $50,000 and $100,000 in 100 to 200 companies. The sectors of interest include e-commerce, fintech, hardware and Internet of things.



Nexus taps connections for larger fund

The huge strides taken by Indian venture capital in recent years have been confirmed by a $450 million fund from Nexus Venture Partners.

The Mumbai-based firm’s fourth fund is twice the size of its 2012-vintage predecessor, with almost all the capital coming from existing LPs.

These include endowments, foundations, and financial institutions in North America, Europe and Asia.

Resisting the temptation for larger tickets, Nexus will stay focused on seed and early-stage deals for tech and data-driven businesses.

Its current 60-company portfolio, about one-third of which by value is located in the United States, spans the technology, Internet, consumer and business service sectors.

A recent portfolio exit includes the sale of Nexus company MapMyIndia to Flipkart in a deal valued at $260 million. –Alex Derber

Next Orbit aligns with new fund drive

Buoyed by government efforts to expand India’s electronics market, Mumbai-based Next Orbit Ventures is targeting an ambitious $750 million for its second fund.

Founder Ajay Jalan believes the target, more than five times the size of its debut fund, is realistic given big new state subsidies for semiconductor factories and a public fund-of-funds to support investors in the fabrication ecosystem.

“Even if we discount government forecasts by half, India’s ESDM [Electronic System Design & Manufacturing] market will still be worth upwards of $200 billion by 2020 and that will require $50 billion of investment,” he told VCJ.

About three-fourths of the fund will be reserved for large, three-figure investments in new LED, solar and semiconductor manufacturing sites, but the rest will be reserved for early- and growth-stage deals in related sectors, such as the Internet of Things and digital health. –Alex Derber

Fund briefs compiled by VCJ staff

To download an Excel file: Worldwide venture fundraising (November 2015)

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