Harbert Launches $100M Venture Fund –

Birmingham, Ala. – Seeking to expand the breadth of its private equity offerings, Harbert Management Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., recently launched Harbinger/Aurora Venture Fund L.L.C., its first venture capital fund, with a target of $100 million.

The firm formed a partnership with Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Aurora Group to seek out early-stage technology and life science companies that are based in the Southeast United States, said Charles Miller, vice president of Harbert Management.

After choosing to enter the venture arena, a decision based on a perceived lack of venture capital in the target region, Harbert searched for a partner with a track record and was comfortable working with another entity.

“The Aurora Group has had two successful small funds, and they wanted our skills, so it was really a marriage made in heaven,” Miller said.

The two firms will be equal partners in the effort, with Harbert providing back office support to the endeavor as well as actively participating in fund raising and investment management. Aurora Principals Jeff Clark and Scott Albert will source deals and manage the portfolio companies.

Harbinger/Aurora portfolio companies typically will receive $2 million to $6 million in total capital from the fund, with initial investments ranging from $250,000 to $2 million, Mr. Miller said.

The fund will target large institutions as limited partners as well as some high-net-worth individuals who bring deal flow. Mr. Miller declined to specify fees for the fund, beyond saying they were in line with industry standards. The fund will hold a first close in late summer.