Olympic Prepares To Launch Fund V –

SEATTLE/PORTLAND, Ore. – Olympic Venture Partners (OVP) at press time was preparing a January launch for its $100 million-targeted Olympic Ventures V.

The vehicle, like previous OVP funds, primarily will back early-stage Internet-related companies, including communications and a select group of health-care businesses, said General Partner Gerry Langeler.

Olympic believes there will be a resurgence of interest in the health-care market, and that it would be foolhardy to abandon the sector completely, said Langeler, noting that 20% of OVP IV went into health care.

Eighty percent of OVP IV, which wrapped in 1997 on $63 million, was invested in Oregon and Washington, and Langeler expects most of OVP V to be invested in the Pacific Northwest as well.

First round investments will range from $500,000 to $4 million, with Olympic putting some $6 million to $8 million into each portfolio company over time.

Olympic had begun talking with existing limited partners about the new fund in mid-December, and Langeler expects them to provide four-fifths of the capital in Fund V. A final close is expected in the first quarter.

As a $100 million fund with a $125 million hard cap, OVP is smaller than many other funds today, but Olympic decided to stick with a strategy of having individual partners invest some $20 million to $25 million each. For most of OVP IV’s investment life, the firm had three GPs – George Clute, Chad Waite and Langeler. Bill Miller came on a little more than a year ago, bringing the GP total to four.

OVP portfolio companies include Internet security company WatchGuard Technologies Inc., consumer electronics e-commerce company 800.com Inc., audio and video Web-encoding enterprise LoudEye.com (previously encoding.com) and e-commerce software maker Preview Systems Inc., which merged with Portland Software.

Olympic’s limited partners include the Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement Fund, Washington State Investment Board, Tredegar Industries, the Western Metal Industry pension, Meyer Memorial Trust, Dow Chemical pension fund, University of Richmond and Kenyon College.