Valley Ventures Hits Second Close –

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Valley Ventures II reached a second close in early April on $28.2 million.

The Southwestern United States-focused fund has a $35 million target and will continue accepting commitments, but General Partner Jock Holliman is shifting his attention from fund raising to deal making.

Mr. Holliman is in discussions with several existing institutional investors, but he is not initiating contacts with new limited partners. Valley Ventures II reached a first close on $20 million in November (VCJ, January, page 20).

Led by Mr. Holliman and Michael Collins, a medical doctor with an M.B.A., Valley Ventures focuses on early- and late-stage companies in a variety of industries, including health care. The fund is the first joint effort by Mr. Holliman and Dr. Collins. Backers include Traveler’s Insurance, Hexagon Investments, Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance, the State of New Mexico Retirement System, BancBoston Investments, money manager Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn and a trust affiliate of Norwest Bank.

Valley Ventures has special limited partners scouting deals for the firm in suburban Denver and Albuquerque, N.M., Mr. Holliman said.

The firm closed its first deal in December, investing $1.5 million for a lead position in the $5.3 million financing of Meret Corp. The Newport Beach, Calif., drug manufacturer has developed a way to increase a cancer patient’s tolerance to chemotherapy by helping immune systems recover more quickly from treatment.

At press time, Valley Ventures was working on three additional investments in Phoenix.