Exits give vSpring boost for fund III

Early stage venture firm vSpring Capital has raised $56 million toward an anticipated $250 million third fund, according to regulatory filings.

The new fund would be nearly three times larger than its second, an $86 million fund raised in 2004.

The firm raised its first fund in 2000, collecting $41.5 million from investors and another $78.5 million from the Small Business Administration. The fund posted a net rate of return of 15.4% as of last quarter, according to Managing Director Paul Ahlstrom. The first fund had three write-offs, eight exits that made the firm money and three exits that did not, Ahlstrom says.

The Salt Lake City-based firm recently was part of the consortium that spun LanDesk out of Intel Corp. and sold it to Avocent for $416 million last year. The deal netted an estimated 10x return for investors.

Limited partners in the firm’s previous funds include CPP Investment Board, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MER), the New Mexico State Investment Council, SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB), Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and Zions Bancorp (Nasdaq: ZION), according to market researcher CapitalIQ.

The majority of the firm’s investments are in Utah, but it also has offices in Los Alamos and Albuquerque.