Technology Partners tops fund-raising target

Venture firm Technology Partners has closed its eighth fund with $300 million in capital commitments.

General Partner Ira Ehrenpreis had told VCJ last year that the firm was targeting $250 million for fund VIII. The firm, which has made a name for itself as a first-mover in cleantech deals, cut back its information technology practice after the boom of the late 1990s and now focuses on cleantech and life sciences opportunities. Fund VIII will be divided equally between both sectors.

Despite the rise of cleantech deals and the flood of firms and investors that are devoted to the sector, cleantech is far from developing an investment bubble, says Ehrenpreis. “There’s clearly been an awakening by the venture community,” he says, “But there’s still more opportunity available than capital.”

In announcing the fund, the firm disclosed it has invested in four deals. On the cleantech front, Technology Partners invested in a stealth-mode solar company and made a late stage investment in electric car maker Tesla Motors. It did not disclose the size of the investments.

In life sciences, Technology Partners invested in NFocus Neuromedical, a developer of treatments for brain hemorrhages, and Spectragenics, a purveyor of light-based beauty treatments.

Ehrenpreis focuses on cleantech along with General Partner Ted Ardell. General Partners Jim Glasheen and Roger Quy oversee the firm’s life sciences investments.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm raised $250 million for its seventh fund in 2000. LPs from fund VII include the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Crossroads Group, Fairview Capital Partners, Lifespan Corp. Endowment, the Montana Board of Investments, New Mexico State Investment Council, Pfizer Inc. and the San Francisco Employees Retirement System. —Alexander Haislip