Omega Changes Name, Launches Fund –

SAN FRANCISCO – Omega Ventures, which spun out of Robertson Stephens in the spring, changed its name to Crosslink Capital and held an $80 million first close in early September on its first new fund (VCJ, March, page 5).

Crossover III, which is targeting $200 million, is expected to hold a second and final close in the fourth quarter, said Managing Director Michael Stark. The name change was made to better reflect the firm’s focus on “crossover investing” in later-stage private companies and public enterprises, plus the firm’s emphasis on helping companies network with each other, Stark said.

When the investment firm bought itself out of Robertson Stephens, it brought along two families of funds: the private equity funds in the Omega family and the private-and-public equity funds of the Crossover family. The youngest VC fund among those is Omega Ventures III, a $150 million venture vehicle that wrapped in March 1998 on $165 million, plus an $8 million side fund. The side fund is about half invested and is leaning toward business-to-business e-commerce companies.

Crosslink has 11 investment professionals, including seven managing directors, one of whom is Bill Nolan, who joined the firm in September from BancBoston Robertson Stephens. He will focus on networking companies in both the public and private markets.

Other managing directors are Tom Bliska, Tony Brenner, Valdimir Jacimovic, Sy Kaufman and Dan Dunn.

The $66 million Crossover Ventures II, managed by Crosslink Capital since the Omega spin-out, is a six-year fund that wrapped in 1996 and is fully invested. Crossover II gave its limited partners the option of rolling over their money into Crossover III, which 85% of the L.P.s chose to do, Stark said. Crossover II’s investments have yielded a return of more than 20%.

Given the maturity of Crossover II, the fund ceased investing in private companies and investors who wanted exposure to later-stage VC opportunities turned to Crossover III. Crosslink plans to invest at least 50% of Crossover III in private equity opportunities.

Stark declined to name limited partners, but he said they include pension funds, family offices, entrepreneurs and former entrepreneurs. Crossover III features a 1.5% management fee and an 80%/20% carried interest split.