CRV finds 13 is its lucky number

Charles River Ventures has quietly closed its 13th fund with about $280 million in commitments, and hired Silicon Valley angel investor Garr Sur as a principal.

As PE Week reported last month, CRV had planned to begin fund-raising in the third quarter, but realized last October that it would be out of dry powder by mid-January. The bi-coastal firm explained the situation to limited partners during its annual meeting in November, and sent out PPMs with a $275 million cover price by the second week of December. In its pitch, it asked as many LPs as possible to make commitments by year-end, with the understanding that some investors would need to wait until 2007 because of calendar allocation issues.

Not only was the process accelerated, but the restrictions were fairly tough. CRV put a $12.5 million cap on all LP commitments to accommodate as many investors as possible. This was the same ceiling it had used with its $250 million fund XII, with the extra $25 million in wiggle room used to help certain LPs increase their stakes closer to $12.5 million. For example, certain LPs with $3 million commitments to fund XII got to put $5 million into fund XIII.

CRV continued its band on public pensions, but only in part due to FOIA issues. The bigger issue, according to sources, is that CRV simply has more LP interest than it can handle. Previously, CRV raised $1.2 billion for a fund in early 2001, and then made severe LP cuts to raise subsequent vehicles at sub-$300 million. Public pension funds were among those cut, but they were not the only ones.

The primary partners on CRV XIII are Izhar Armony and Bruce Sachs in Waltham, Mass.; and Bill Tai and George Zachary in Menlo Park, Calif. Chris Baldwin will not participate on fund XIII, but will continue to honor his fund XII commitments (including board seats).

Sur, who will focus on digital media opportunities, is co-founder of CareBadgees.com and BrightRoll. He has served as an advisor or an angel investor with such companies as Flixster, RockYou, AdMob, Xobni, Voicestar and Frengo.

CRV also has promoted Susan Wu to venture partner. —Dan Primack

Goldman boosts target yet again

When is $10 billion not enough? When you’re GS Capital Partners, the LBO arm of Goldman Sachs. It has raised the target of its sixth buyout fund to between $19 billion and $20 billion, according to comments made on March 27 by CEO Lloyd Blankfein during the company’s annual meeting in New York.

Buyouts, a PE Week sister publication, was the first to report in January that Goldman had raised $8.8 billion of a targeted $10 billion fund. Goldman’s $8.5 billion fifth fund, raised in 2005, is already 90% invested, according to its website. In addition, the firm is steeply ramping up the size of its investments. In its last three funds, GS Capital has written successively larger equity checks on average, from $33 million in its third fund to $91 million in its fourth to $245 million in its fifth.

GS Capital has raised seven funds to date, including five generalist funds earmarked for buyouts around the world, a $300 million Asia fund raised in 1994, and a $6.5 billion infrastructure fund raised this year.

Ex-JPMorgan partners target $4B

CCMP Capital has secured $1.47 billion of a new fund targeted at $4 billion, according to a regulatory filing. It is the firm’s first independent fund since spinning out of JPMorgan Partners. Prior to forming CCMP Capital, the firm’s principals led the buyout and growth equity investment business of JPMorgan, which was established in 1984. Credit Suisse is acting as the placement agent on the new fund.

SF venture firm targets $425M

Bay City Capital, a San Francisco-based VC firm, is pre-marketing its fifth life sciences fund with a $425 million target. Bay City Capital Fund IV closed in 2004 with $350 million. Bay City, founded in 1997, manages five venture funds representing $1 billion in capital invested in more than 65 companies. Four of the funds are general life sciences funds, and one is a nutrition and agribusiness sector fund.

Investcorp eyes third late stage fund

Investcorp Technology Investments Group plans to raise between $400 million and $500 million for its third fund, according to LBO Wire. It raised $300 million for a late stage fund in 2005 and $210 million for its first late stage fund in 2001, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of PE Week). Investcorp is based in New York and London. Investcorp says it invests in companies in almost any industry sector in North America and Western Europe with a total enterprise value of between $300 million and $1 billion.

Bessemer mulls India fund

Bessemer Venture Partners is considering an India-focused private equity fund that would be open to third-party limited partners, according to VentureWire. Bessemer, which has an office in Mumbai, India, and one in Bangalore, has been been quite active in that market. Managing Partner Rob Chandra, who set up the firm’s practice in India, has invested in several Indian companies, including real estate developer Anant Raj Industries (BSE: ARIL), brokerage firm Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd., engineering services company Shriram EPC Ltd., automobile component maker Rico Auto Industries Ltd. (BSE: RICOAUTO), and hotelier Sarovar Hotels & Resorts.

Canada hungry for Cleantech

Emerald Technology Ventures, formerly known as SAM Private Equity, has closed its second cleantech-focused venture fund with €135 million (about $180 million) in capital commitments. The Montreal-based fund’s limited partners include Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, GIMV, Rabobank, Axpo Holding, Springbridge, Credit Suisse, Deere & Co., DSM Venturing, Dow Chemical Co., KPC Energy Ventures, Piper Jaffray Private Capital, Suncor Energy, Unilever Technology Ventures and Volvo Technology Transfer AB.

New venture fund targets tiny tech

NanoDimension, a nanotech-focused VC firm based in Zurich, Switzerland, has closed its inaugural fund with €45 million (about $60 million) in capital commitments. The fund will invest exclusively in nanotechnology companies in the areas of IT, life sciences, materials and energy in Europe and North America. It has already invested in Crocus Technology SA, a French company developing MRAM data storage. NanoDimension did not disclose the names of its LPs, but said they include leading scientific and financial institutions.

New med device VC fund launches

Ziegler Meditech Partners, a joint venture between Ziegler Cos. and Medtech Advisors LLC, has closed its inaugural venture fund with $52.7 million, according to VentureWire. The fund will focus on mid-to-late stage medical device companies in the U.S. and Israel. Ziegler is based in Milwaukee. Its website is under construction, but lists Heidi Schilling as the person to contact for more information at (414) 978-6508.

Israeli fund closes on $125M for secondaries

Secondary firm Vintage Venture Partners has closed on its third fund with $125 million in capital commitments. The fund, based in Herzliya Pituach, Israel, will acquire limited partner interests of Israel-related venture capital funds and private equity funds and direct portfolios of Israel-related technology investments. The firm, founded in 2003, raised its first secondary fund totaling $64 million in June 2004, then raised a $75 million fund of funds in April 2006. —PE Week staff