San Diego Angel Nears Close of $10M Fund

Terry Moore, founder and managing partner of two-year-old boutique firm Moore Venture Partners in San Diego, said he is nearing close of his first fundraising effort, a $10 million fund.

Moore says he has already made three investments from the fund and expects to announce his next two by late August.

Moore forecasts that he’ll have as many as 10 companies in his portfolio once he’s finished fundraising.

Moore wouldn’t disclose specifics, but he says limited partners include some institutional investors with whom he has worked with in the past, along with some high-net worth individuals.

His current portfolio includes San Diego-based ecoATM, a maker of self-service kiosks for consumers to sell their used mobile phones. Moore participated in a $17 million Series B round in ecoATM along with AKS Capital, Claremont Creek Ventures, Tao Venture Partners and Bellevue, Wash.-based coin-to-cash vendor Coinstar Inc.

Moore also participated in a $40 million Series C round in San Diego-based medical diagnostics developer Astute Medical Inc. that was led by MPM Capital and Kaiser Permanente Ventures. In 2010, MVP participated in a $26.5 million Series B round in the company, led by Domain Associates and Delphi Ventures. Other investors include De Novo Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp.

Moore also took part in the $15 million Series C round in Daylight Solutions Inc., a 7-year-old San Diego-based company that makes laser-based molecular detection equipment for industry and the Pentagon. Defense contractor Northrop Grumman led the investment.

Moore’s website says he invested in several software companies. Among his past investment are cellular networks provider MobiTV; broadband wireless sub-systems integrator E-Band Communications and manufacturing automation software developer Incuity (which Moore says sold to Rockwell for a 108% IRR, a 3.8X return in 20 months).

Moore says he likes to participate as a co-investor, putting in modest sums with lead investors, which he describes as top-tier VC firms and the investment arms of large public companies. Moore says that his average check for deals is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In future deals, Moore says the exact amount he intends to put to work will depend upon the investment and hinge on such factors as how much capital is required before investors can get to exit.

“The amounts will vary,” says Moore, noting that the starting point will be in the low six-figure range.

Moore favors mid-stage opportunities and is focused on tech and medical tech companies locate in San Diego, but he said he is willing to look at deals outside the confined geography of America’s cul-de-sac.

Moore has a high profile in Southern California VC circles, having been in the region since graduate school. He earned an MBA in venture management and marketing from the University of San Diego in 1993.

He’s the founder and chairman of the VC Roundtable of Southern California, a gathering of VCs who have met monthly for the past 10 years.

Earlier in his career, Moore served as executive director of the Morrison & Foerster Venture Network and managing partner of Hamilton Tech Capital Partners in San Diego.

Moore says he has his sights set on raising a second fund in the future, likely between $30 million to $50 million.

Moore said he’ll change his focus in the next fund, open to co-leading bets on early stage companies with what he calls “top-tier VC funds scattered across the country.” 

“We’ll be 50% invested by the year end in our first fund, which will allow us to start our second,” he says. “Then we’ll put a little more money to work.”

Tom York is a San Diego-based contributor. He can be reached at