BAVP Raises New Fund Entirely In-House

BA Venture Partners will announce today that it has closed its seventh fund, with a $400 million commitment from sole limited partner Bank of America.

The Foster City, Calif.-based firm gave brief consideration to accepting outside investment, but ultimately decided to stay in-house, largely due to a lack of formal fund-raising experience.

“I was amazed by the amount of interest, particularly because we didn’t send out a PPM or anything,” says Kate Mitchell, a managing director with BA Venture Partners. “Bank of America actually wanted to invest $500 million [as it had for Fund VI in 2000], but we were more comfortable at $400 million.”

The firm doesn’t expect many changes to its investment strategy, which can best be described as multi-stage. It hopes to invest in about 40% of its companies at the Series A level, and the rest at later stages where it can really help with commercialization.

As for industry sector, BA Venture Partners is generalist at heart, but right now has a particular hankering for consumer technology and health care therapeutics companies.

“I remember seeing a ring-tone deal early last year, and wondering how it would ever be successful,” Mitchell says. “What I learned from that is to pay attention to what our kids are paying attention to… We even took the entire team to a place where we could play all sorts of new [electronic] games.”

So far, the firm has invested in two companies out of Fund VII: Enuclia Semiconductor Inc., a fables semiconductor startup in Beaverton, Oregon; and Innovative Micro Technology Inc., a Goleta, Calif.-based MEMS manufacturer.

Jim Jones, who recently was promoted from director to managing director with BAVP, says that Fund VI already is in the black, and that he anticipates a 2X return on investment.

Also promoted to managing director alongside Jones was Sharon Wienbar, while Eric Sigler was promoted to director. New to the firm are CFO Tracy Pappas (formerly of Saints Capital) and associate Gaurav Kotak (formerly of Intuit).

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