Rho Raises its First Multi-LP Vehicle –

NEW YORK – For the first time in its nearly 20-year existence as a professional money manager, Rho Management has combined its private equity clients under one partnership.

The $100 million Rho Capital Partners 1999, first marketed in January and closed in June, is the firm’s first fund raised from multiple high-net-worth individuals and “one or two” institutions, said Habib Kairouz, a managing director of the fund. The new fund also wrapped its third deal in July.

From its inception in 1981 until 1993, the firm managed money for a German family and made direct early-stage venture capital investments. In 1993, Rho took on a few outside high-net-worth clients, and early this year, the firm decided to raise the fund.

Investors’ response to Rho 1999 was overwhelming, Kairouz said, and the fund was 100% oversubscribed.

The firm will seek a diversified portfolio, courting Internet content, e-commerce, telecommunications hardware, software and health care opportunities, Kairouz added. Rho had several term sheets on the table, and had closed three deals by press time: a Series A round in On24 Inc., a San Francisco-based on-line content provider, and Series C rounds in Comspace Corp., a wireless telecom equipment developer and Yantra Corp., a supply chain management software provider.

While Kairouz declined to reveal the size of each investment, he said deal sizes will average about $7 million per company over several rounds.

Rho founder and Chairman Joshua Ruch will help Managing Directors Kairouz and Mark Leschly invest the vehicle. Leschly joined the firm from HealthCare Ventures in late June.