MTV’s Second Fund Expected to Wrap –

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – Media Technology Ventures’ (MTV) second effort, Media Equity Partners, at press time closed on $120 million and was expected to reach a $150 million target by the end of February.

Launched in March 1998, the fund notched an $80 million first close in June and held rolling closes thereafter (VCJ, December 1998, page 18).

New investors include Sonera, a Finnish wireless telecommunications company, and Hearst Corp., a publishing group. Other backers include The Boeing Co., Freedom Communications, MediaOne Interactive, Thomson Multimedia, GE Capital/NBC and WPP Group.

Media Equity Partners will invest in second- and third-round media and technology deals. The vehicle follows the $71 million Media Technology Ventures of 1997.

MTV set a $10 million minimum for L.P.s investing in the latest fund to limit the number of investors in the vehicle. All limited partners are strategic investors, which tend to get more involved with the firm’s activities than more passive financial investors, said Managing Director Barry Weinman, adding that MTV even took on associates from investing companies to train them in the venture business.

The firm is looking to add one senior investment professional to its ranks, ideally someone who has worked for both a larger corporation and a start-up as well as in IT-focused venture capital, Mr. Weinman said. MTV recently opened an office in San Francisco’s China Basin.