RESTON, Va. – Looking to bulk-up its investment team in order to keep up with its growing capital under management, Updata Venture Partners in early July added Tim Meyers, former president of The Morino Group, as a general partner. The hire came about a month before an anticipated early August first close on $50 million to $75 million for the firm’s $150 million-targeted Updata Venture Partners II fund, said John Burton, managing general partner at the firm, which is affiliated with investment bank, Updata Capital Inc.
“We were looking to fill this slot and we knew Tim and knew he was interested in getting into a tech fund,” said Burton. “As president at Morino, he had experience with fund management and some direct investing,” Burton said, adding, “he also has a strong background in deal structure, financial analysis and operations.”
Meyers said he had looked at joining a number of venture capital firms and decided on Updata because of the quality of its investment team, as well as its affiliation with Updata Capital. “With the M&A affiliation, we know who buyers are in the market and what they want. This means we can be successful in good times and bad times, when the IPO market is not red hot.” Meyers added he was pleased to join Updata as the firm was in the midst of raising its first major fund. “To be part of it from the beginning is fun this means you are part of it, not going into someone else’s creation.”
Meyers served as president of The Morino Group, the for-profit affiliate of The Morino Institute – a nonprofit organization looking to identify ways to use the Internet to achieve social, educational and economic benefit for communities, from 1993 to 2000. While at The Morino Group, Meyers created 11600 Sunrise, an Internet accelerator in Reston, Va. He also helped structure Updata Venture Partners’ first fund, the $30 million Fallen Angel fund, which closed in September 1998. The Morino Group was a limited partner in that fund, which was a repositioning and turnaround fund for public IT companies.
Updata Venture Partners’ new vehicle will back early- to growth-stage companies in the IT and communications industries. “We target soft technologies – software and services – as opposed to devices and hardware,” Burton said. Updata is aiming for an October final close on its latest vehicle. The fund will back approximately 20 to 25 companies with a typical initial investment of $3 million to $5 million. Follow-on investments should push the average deal size for the vehicle to approximately $7 million to $10 million. The fund will invest nationally, but will focus on the Mid-Atlantic corridor between New York and Washington, D.C., which is convenient to its offices in New Jersey and Northern Virginia. Burton declined to name any of the vehicle’s LPs, but described them as a mix of fund-of-funds, financial institutions, endowments and high-net-worth individuals.
With the addition of Meyers, the firm’s investment team now consists of six professionals: four general partners and two associates. Burton said the team will likely grow as the fund deploys its capital, probably adding at least one to two new associates.