O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, a firm formed as a partner to O’Reilly Media, has closed its inaugural fund with $51 million in capital commitments, the firm announced in February.
In addition, O’Reilly AlphaTech disclosed on its website that it has already invested in four companies, including Wesabe, a Berkeley, Calif.-based provider of a personal finance Web tool. Wesabe raised $700,000, led by O’Reilly AlphaTech and angel investors Mark Fletcher, founder of ONElist and Bloglines, and Freeman Murray, the founder of Kendara.
O’Reilly has also invested an undisclosed amount in Chumby, makers of a WiFi consumer device that acts like a clock radio; and Instructables, which operates a social networking site in which users share how to build stuff. The firm did not disclose any details about its fourth investment.
O’Reilly Media was founded by Tim O’Reilly, who coined the phrase “Web 2.0” and is a supporter of the open source software movement. O’Reilly Media publishes books and magazines and hosts tech conferences. It launched the venture partnership at the end of 2005 and is one of the fund’s limited partners.
Other limited partners include TIFF Private Equity Partners 2006, the Omidyar Network Fund (founded by eBay’s Pierre Omidyar) and Explore Holdings (funded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos).
O’Reilly AlphaTech has two managing partners: Bryce Roberts, a former associate at Wasatch Venture Fund, and Mark Jacobsen, an 11-year O’Reilly vet. Before O’Reilly launched its formal VC program, Jacobsen invested in Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. —Alastair Goldfisher