Polaris Venture Partners Scales Back for New Fund

In October, I wrote the following after returning from the Quebec City Conference:

“Terry McGuire of Polaris Venture Partners said in Quebec that the future of venture capital would be smaller funds and smaller partnerships. He declined to say if that applied to Polaris itself – methinks it does, as the firm is expected to fundraise next year.”

Yup, it does. Polaris is targeting $500 million for its sixth fund, after raising $1 billion for its fifth fund in 2006. I know of at least one current partner who isn’t part of the new effort, but will hold his name for a little while longer in order to give him adequate time to comment. If you’d like a hint, he’s based in Boston and focuses on IT.

In general, however, it appears that most of the investment staff will stay put. This includes the growth equity/buyouts group. One change, however, is that Polaris will no longer use the managing general partner title, which had been shared by McGuire, Jon Flint and Alan Spoon. It’s a bit of organizational flattening that probably plays well with younger partners.