Revamped HQ Fund Reaches First Close –

SAN FRANCISCO – Hambrecht & Quist’s Access Technology Partners fund in February reached a first close on $154 million, well over the $110 million target set last summer following a redesign of the fund.

Managing Director Charlie Walker anticipated the vehicle reaching $220 million, far exceeding a $160 million cap. The fund-raising ceiling was raised to accommodate European investors that had expressed interest before the first close, Mr. Walker said. Hambrecht & Quist will add $40 million to the capital that Access Technology raises in the market. Mr. Walker declined to name limited partners.

The fund will back telecommunications, health-care, information-services and branded-consumer companies. Most of the capital will go toward late-stage deals, one quarter in early- to mid-stage deals and 10% to special situations.

Originally, Access Technology Partners was slated to make direct investments in portfolio companies as well as back other venture funds. H&Q, however, narrowed the fund’s focus to direct deals, shelving plans for a fund-of-funds component once the firm realized that the markets were different for direct-deal VC funds and funds-of-funds (VCJ, September 1998, page 5). Mr. Walker said the fund-of-funds idea could be revisited in the second half of this year.