NeoCarta Closes Freshman Vehicle –

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – NeoCarta Ventures Inc. in December closed its freshman fund on $275 million, surpassing the $150 million target set at its September launch.

Tom Naughton, a managing director of the group, expects to invest 50% of the fund into business-to-business companies, with the remainder split evenly between business-to-consumer and enabling technology businesses.

Naughton, along with Managing Director Jarrett Collins head the Boston office, while two other managing directors, Karin Kissane and Tony Pantuso, are based in San Francisco. The four met while Collins and Kissane were principals at TTC Ventures, the venture capital arm of Thomson Corp., and Naughton and Pantuso were vice presidents at GE Equity, the private equity subsidiary of General Electric Capital Corp.. All four parties were negotiating with iXL Enterprises Inc.. Shortly thereafter, they decided to combine their expertise by launching their own in venture capital firm.

Limited partners for the fund include strategic investors such as Thomson Corp., VCJ’s parent company, high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. The firm declined to release further details on its other limited partners.

The vehicle is already 5% committed in 10 companies, including Inc., Derivion Corp., Direct Hit Technologies Inc., eFrenzy Inc., Inc., Vitessa Corp., e-markets Inc., eTour Inc., Freshnex Inc. and Pix Retail Networks.

The fund is expected to be fully invested in the next two to three years in about 30 companies, with average deal sizes ranging from $6 million to $8 million. The group expects to invest up to $10 million in one company over time.

Naughton declined to release details on the fund’s fees, but said it was within industry standards.