IDG Ventures SF’s first close tops $80M

IDG Ventures SF has held a first close on more than $80 million, putting the firm well on its way to reach its fund-raising target of $180 million.

Although this is the firm’s second fund, two of the firm’s three investing GPs are new, which makes IDG Ventures SF an emerging manager in the eyes of most limited partners. “There are not a lot of these new mangers getting done—this is a huge vote of confidence in the GPs and the IDG platform,” says a source close to the firm.

The team started fund-raising in April and brought placement agent Probitas Partners along to help with the effort. A final close is expected by the end of Q1 2008.

LPs who participated in the first close include International Data Group (IDG) and Liberty Mutual, as well as state retirement plans, funds of funds, family offices and entrepreneurs who had been previously backed by the firm’s general partners, the source says.

IDG—which bills itself as “the largest technology media, event management and research company in the world”—chipped in $25 million to the first close and could potentially put up as much as 20% of the total. IDG was the sole LP in the firm’s first fund, a $120 million vehicle raised in 1997.

IDG Ventures SF is made up of Managing Directors Pat Kenealy, Alex Rosen and Phil Sanderson and Administrative Director and CFO Susan Cheng. Cheng and Kenealy were with the firm in its previous incarnation, when it was known as IDG Ventures Pacific. Rosen, previously a general partner with the Sprout Group, joined last year, as did Sanderson, who was previously a GP with WaldenVC.

The firm’s focus is primarily early stage new media and IT companies. In tandem with fund-raising, the partners have backed three companies to date: Double Fusion Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of in-game advertising and marketing solutions, TellTale Inc., a San Rafael, Calif.-based game developer, and WatchGuard Technologies Inc., a Seattle-based maker of network security software. It isn’t clear whether or not those deals—funded by the GPs and IDG—will be rolled into the new fund. —Lawrence Aragon