Ventana Global Targets $50M –

IRVINE, Calif. – Ventana Global Ltd. in July launched Technology Gateway Partnership II, a $50 million-targeted early-stage venture capital fund, said Thomas Gephart, a founder and managing partner at the firm.

The firm is seeking to hold a first close before November and anticipates a final close six months after that, Gephart said. The new vehicle will back about 15 companies in the wireless, broadband, Internet and networking infrastructure and business-to-business spaces, as they converge with each other, and with the fields of biotechnology, genomics, e-health informatics and robotics, Gephart said.

The firm will target companies based on the West Coast and invest a maximum of $2.5 million in each, over several rounds, Gephart said, adding that the firm would consider investing elsewhere in the U.S. if it has established relationships with other investors in the deal.

The firm’s previous vehicle, the $20 million Technology Gateway Partnership I, which closed in June, was about two-thirds invested at press time, Gephart said. The fund, which targets early-stage businesses, had backed 10 companies and expected to back another three or four before becoming completely committed, he said.

Founded in 1974, Ventana Global has raised eight private equity funds in North America and Latin America.

The firm’s portfolio includes Virtual Relocation Inc., a business relocation services Web site sold to TMP Worldwide in April, and Innovent Systems Inc. a communications company that is in the process of being acquired by Broadcom Corp. That deal had not closed at press time, Gephart said.

Limited partners in the fund include a combination of U.S., Danish, Belgian and Japanese investors, Gephart said. The firm retains a 2.5% management fee and an 80%/20% carried interest structure.

“We believe that most information technology and biotech companies have global potential,” Gephart said. Having international investors to assist with developing deal flow and making connections is beneficial to the business, he said. For example, one of the firm’s investors based in Sweden developed the idea behind Maxim Pharmaceutical, a company in the firm’s portfolio.

Elliot Parks, director of life sciences, Horton and Gephart will manage the new fund, and work with investment professionals in Mexico and in Santiago, Chile.