Venrock adds partner, nears close on new fund

Venrock Associates added a new partner to its roster to help shoulder the investing duties of its newest fund. The firm had raised $520 million of a $550 million targeted fifth fund as of early March.

The firm hired Rich Moran, a longtime Silicon Valley consultant and author, to focus on digital media and software investments. He joins four managing general partners: Anthony Evnin, Bryan Roberts, Ray Rothrock and Anthony Sun.

Venrock has already made eight investments in 2007, according to market researcher CapitalIQ. It backed semiconductor company Anchor Bay, battery maker Boston Power, semiconductor company Ciclon Semiconductor Device Corp., storage company CipherMax, online photography business Digital Railroad, biopharmaceutical company ICAgen, wireless company Kineto Wireless and software company Optinuity.

Infinera Corp., a Venrock portfolio company, filed registration papers in late February for a $150 million IPO. (Infinera had not gone public as of VCJ press time.) Overall, the firm had nine of its portfolio companies acquired during 2006 and one, Trubion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TRBN), went public, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of VCJ).

Venrock Associates IV, the firm’s previous fund, raised $550 million in 2003. Limited partners in previous Venrock funds include FLAG Venture Partners, Harvard Management Co., Princeton University Investment Co., Montagu Newhall Associates and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, according to CapitalIQ.

Although Venrock is based in New York, nearly half of its investments have been in California. A little more than 6% of the money from its previous funds has gone into New York-based startups, according to Thomson Financial. The firm also has offices in Menlo Park, Calif., Cambridge Mass. and Herzelya Pituach, Israel. —Alexander Haislip and Dan Primack