MENLO PARK, Calif. – Trinity Ventures hired Kathy Murphy in November to fill the newly created post of administrative partner and chief financial officer, a move prompted by Trinity’s efforts to keep up with today’s fast-paced venture environment.
Toward that end, the firm recently hired Patricia Nakache and Tom Cole as principal and associate, respectively, and closed a $300 million fund – double the size of its predecessor – said Lawrence Orr, managing general partner.
Murphy held CFO positions at various software companies since 1981, most recently at Vantive Corp. and The Imagination Network, which was acquired by AT&T Corp.
“I feel that I can really leverage all the operating experience I’ve learned over the years,” Murphy said, adding that she hopes to become a resource to Trinity portfolio companies. And while Murphy’s background will benefit the firm, her new responsibilities -managing Trinity’s finances and investor relations and assisting with strategic decision making – will allow her to grow professionally, she said.
Trinity General Partner Noel Fenton approached the new CFO about the opening through a mutual friend who knew of Murphy’s interest in joining a venture firm. The timing worked because Murphy was about to finish a consulting assignment for AlphaBlox Corp. Inc., a software company, when Fenton contacted her.
Founded in 1986, Trinity has more than $600 million under management. The firm’s last fund, the $150 million Trinity VI, notched a final close in September 1998 and is completely invested in or committed to 17 companies.
The Trinity investment team includes Orr, Murphy, and five general partners: Fenton, Tod Francis, Jamie Shennan, Gus Tai and Fred Wang.
Murphy will have an opportunity to jump right in to the action. In August the firm launched Trinity VII, which reached a first and final close in October on $300 million. The fund will back 20 to 25 e-commerce, communications and software application services companies, seven of which the firm already has selected. Trinity will make initial investments of $2 million to $10 million in each company.
The firm’s limited partners returning for Trinity VII include: BancBoston Investments Inc., The Crossroads Group, Emory University, Fremont Group, General Motors Investment Management Corp., Kansas Public Employees’ Retirement System, Liberty Mutual Group, The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Miami Corp., The Olayan Group, Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., Wilshire Associates Inc. and VenCap International Fund Managers Ltd. They will be joined by some newcomers including: Johns Hopkins University, Regents of University of Michigan, University of Georgia Foundation, University of Wisconsin Foundation and Wesleyan University.
Despite L.P. interest totaling more than $400 million, the investment team decided to limit the fund to $300 million, hoping to strike a balance between having enough staying power in the eyes of entrepreneurs, and having the ability to dedicate quality time to each company, Orr said.
Since August 1998 nine of Trinity’s portfolio companies have held initial public offerings: SciQuest.com Inc., BackWeb Technologies Ltd., Extreme Networks Inc., Fatbrain.com Inc., NextCard Inc., 24/7 Media Inc., P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc., Quokka Sports Inc. and Baby Center Inc., which was acquired by eToys Inc.