North Bridge to launch growth fund

North Bridge Venture Partners is sponsoring a new growth equity fund that former Advent International partners Doug Kingsley and Mike Pehl will co-manage.

The pair began fund-raising several weeks ago, with initial meetings taking place with existing North Bridge limited partners. The scope is expected to expand over the next month, with a target capitalization of no larger than $500 million.

Ed Anderson, managing partner of North Bridge, did not return calls requesting comment. VCJ also tried to speak with Kingsley and Pehl, but was unsuccessful.

Kingsley is the former co-head of Advent’s North American buyout team, which he officially left at the end of last year. Pehl had been helping to run a tech-focused venture capital program, but began looking around after Advent decided not to raise a follow-on fund. Both Pehl and fellow group chief Leigh Michel will continue to manage the existing tech fund portfolio of Advent, until it runs its natural course.

The new North Bridge fund is expected to make growth-stage investments of between $20 million and $50 million. Some will be for company control, while others will be for significant minority positions. Some PIPEs or other alternative structures also could be used.

The fund represents a major strategic shift for the firm, which always has prided itself on being early stage and nothing but early stage. However, sources say that it is likely to be an easy raise, due to North Bridge’s reputation and the track records of Kingsley and Pehl.

North Bridge isn’t the only noted early stage investor to trot out a growth stage vehicle. Draper Fisher Jurvetson has raised $100 million of a $250 million growth fund that it launched in January. Sequoia Capital closed on $861 million in May for its U.S. growth fund and, separately, closed on $400 million in September for its India Growth Fund. Also, New Enterprise Associates joined the fray in the summer, carving out $1.5 billion of its $2.5 billion 12th fund for later stage expansion deals.