Sprout Promotes VP, Seeks Two More Investment Professionals –

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Sprout Group promoted Vice President Alex Rosen to general partner this summer and is in the market for two more investment professionals, said Managing Partner Richard Kroon.

Rosen, who joined Sprout in 1996, focuses on e-commerce and Internet software companies. He sits on the boards of four Sprout portfolio companies: Quintus Corp., a call center application software enterprise; NetBuy Corp., an Internet-based electronic-components distribution company; mySimon Inc., a comparison-shopping Web site; and Tavolo, a cooking supplies Web site, formerly known as Digital Chef.

“My responsibilities will not shift, they have evolved over time,” Rosen said. “I will probably lead a couple of deals and help other people on a few to accumulate about six deals per year.”

Before joining Sprout, Rosen was an associate at General Atlantic Partners, a Connecticut-based information technology-focused private equity firm, and before that, he was an analyst in the corporate finance group at CS First Boston. Rosen said he decided to join Sprout because he wanted to be part of a well-established, reputable firm where he could do both early-stage and late-stage deals.

“He’s doing a really outstanding job,” Kroon said of Rosen. “He is very active in the technology and e-commerce area for us, and we’ve found he has been a very, very good identifier of new opportunities.”

Looking to Hire More

Sprout is on the lookout for two more investment professionals, likely an associate and a partner, Kroon said.

Sprout, the venture affiliate of investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., is a 30-year-old firm that invests in information technology, health-care, business services and consumer companies. The group has offices in New York, Chicago and Menlo Park. Sprout VIII, an $860 million fund, closed last year and is about 30% committed, Kroon said. Sprout typically invests more than $10 million throughout the life of its portfolio companies.

Rosen said Sprout intends to add to its investment in enterprise software developer MarketFirst Software, as the company completes its third round of financing later this year. Sprout led a $4.5 million Series B round in March 1998.