AUSTIN, Texas – TL Ventures in January promoted senior associate Chris Pacitti to vice president to help the technology-focused firm manage its fourth fund, which is expected to close in late winter or early spring.
Mr. Pacitti, who joined the firm as an analyst in 1995, has focused on evaluating investment opportunities and occasionally served as a board observer for portfolio companies. As vice president, he will work more directly with portfolio companies and represent TL on the boards of directors of those companies.
Mr. Pacitti initially joined TL’s headquarters in suburban Philadelphia and moved to Texas last May to help new general partner Robert Fabbio establish the firm’s presence in Austin. Currently staffed with four – three investment professionals and an office manager – the firm intends to strengthen its second office by adding three investment professionals and an administrative assistant by May, Mr. Fabbio said.
Mr. Fabbio praised Mr. Pacitti’s “great nose” for scouting deals. “He has great instincts, and he combines that with some good, strong analysis,” he added.
The Austin staff will manage Southwest deals, primarily in Texas; however, the Austin group will consider deals on both coasts, with an emphasis on the West Coast. Mr. Fabbio anticipated 60% of the capital invested from the Texas outpost will flow into the Southwest.
TL, typically a lead investor, focuses on very-early-stage deals, putting as little as $1.5 million to as much as $5 million into a company, Mr. Pacitti said. TL concentrates on Internet and enterprise-software opportunities and is showing more interest in communications companies, he added.
TL also has offices in Southern California and Phoenix (VCJ, February, page 38). The firm focuses on early-stage biotechnology and information technology companies.
Prior to joining TL, Mr. Pacitti co-founded Innovative Textile Technologies, a company that has developed a way of creating ozone using oxidizing chemistry. The company was sold to a division of Cyclopss Corp. in 1994, and Mr. Pacitti resigned about six months after the sale. The experience left him with a desire to help other start-ups, prompting him to explore opportunities in venture capital. Innovative Textile Technologies never raised venture capital, but found financing in the form of angel capital and bootstrapping.