Red Rock Adds Software Expert as GP –

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Red Rock Ventures in December hired software guru Bob Marsh as a general partner, following the recruitment of General Partner Laura Brege one month earlier.

As an early-stage investor in e-commerce business-to-business and other Internet companies, Red Rock had to keep up with the fast pace of those deals by boosting its investment team to five members, said Peter Dumanian, a general partner at the firm. Red Rock was in search of candidates with solid operational backgrounds who could work closely with the firm’s portfolio companies, and the two new partners fit that description, Dumanian said.

Marsh most recently worked for Sony Electronic Publishing as general manager in charge of developing an electronic publishing business for the Web. Prior to that, he operated VenSoft Inc., an incubator focused on early-stage software companies. He also founded two start-ups, Onyx Systems LLC and Plexus Computers Inc., along with Kip Myers, another Red Rock general partner.

“Given how well [Myers and I] worked together in the past and the chance to work with start-ups, I jumped at the opportunity,” Marsh said.

Brege, who came to Red Rock as a senior vice president and chief financial officer after spending seven years at COR Therapeutics Inc., has more than 20 years’ operating experience. She also had been CFO at Flextronics International, where Red Rock General Partner Bob Todd was the chief executive officer.

Once Marsh and Brege get acclimated, they will evaluate opportunities, make investment decisions and work with entrepreneurs to help their companies grow, Marsh said.

Red Rock typically backs companies with $3 million to $6 million over several rounds of financing and generally sticks to companies on the West Coast because they are within commuting distance, allowing for frequent, hands-on involvement, Dumanian said.

Red Rock is investing its second vehicle, the $102 million Red Rock II, which closed in February 1999. To date, the firm has invested that fund in eight companies and expects to back another 14 before it is completely committed, Dumanian said. The $30 million Red Rock I, is completely invested in nine companies.

The firm is open to hiring additional staff, although there are no specific plans to do so at this time, Dumanian said.