New name. New fund. Same strategy.
That’s the message from
Much as it did with the $180 million IDG Ventures Atlantic, which closed in 2005, the firm plans to maintain its focus on early stage IT and health care technology companies.
“There has definitely been some confusion in the marketplace about our current relationship with [media company] IDG,” says partner Jeff Bussgang, who notes that Always On recently named the firm one of the nation’s top corporate venture funds. “We are wholly independent and partner-owned, and we felt it was time to make that as clear as possible.”
The firm launched as a captive fund of IDG in 2001, but always with an eye toward independence. It raised the majority of its second fund from third parties, and IDG did not invest in the latest fund. However, IDG—which bills itself as “the largest technology media, event management and research company in the world”—chipped in $25 million to the latest fund of California-based IDG Ventures SF, which held a first close of $80 million, as PE Week previously reported. The media company could potentially put up as much as 20% of the IDG Ventures SF fund.
Flybridge’s limited partners include Princeton University, Alfred DuPont Testamentary Trust, AlpInvest Partners, Flag Capital Management, Grove Street Advisors, HighVista Strategies, Knightsbridge Advisors, TrueBridge Capital Partners and VenCap.
“We were targeting $250 million and could have raised more than $280 million,” says Bussgang, who has been with the firm since 2003. “But it didn’t make sense to go higher given our early stage strategy.”
Flybridge has four partners in addition to Bussgang: Chip Hazard, Michael Greeley, Jon Karlen and David Aronoff (who joined in 2005 having spent the previous nine years with Greylock). The firm also includes Senior Associate Anand Daniels, and may add another junior staffer.
The firm’s new name comes from the nautical term “flying bridge,” which is an area on top of the room that holds a ship’s navigational equipment and steering wheel.
Recent investments include Blackwave, CHiL Semiconductor Corp., GuildCafe Entertainment, Jingle Networks, SupplyScape and Transpera. One of its portfolio companies, Zing Systems Inc., is awaiting final regulatory approval to be acquired by Dell. The developer of mobile digital media products raised $13 million from IDG Ventures Boston and other venture firms before Dell announced last year that it would acquire the Mountain View, Calif.-based company for an undisclosed price.