Garage parks on new fund

Garage Technology Ventures has raised its first venture fund to invest in seed and early stage investments primarily on the West Coast.

Thomas Weisel Global Growth Partners is the lead investor in Garage Technology Ventures I. Other LPs include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Silicon Valley Bank and E-Trade.

Managing Director Bill Reichert would not disclose the amount raised, but he said that combined with the firm’s prior fund, Garage California Entrepreneurs Fund, Garage now has about $25 million in assets under management.

The California Entrepreneurs Fund was supported mostly by a $10 million commitment from The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which invested side-by-side with Garage partners.

“The seed and early fund represents a transition for Garage, so now we’re more like a pure VC model,” Reichert says.

In addition to Reichert, the fund’s managing directors are Mohanjit Jolly and Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of the firm that was originally known as

When was launched in 1998, it operated as a “venture accelerator,” helping entrepreneurs raise venture capital and launch their startups. The firm became well known for its entrepreneur conferences, called Bootcamp for Startups.

More recently, Garage has been hosting an Art of the Start conference, which shares the same name as a book recently written by Kawasaki.

Since raising the California Entrepreneurs Fund, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm has invested in IT and materials science companies, such as BitPass, WhiteHat Security, Miasole and FilmLoop, among others.

Some of Garage’s earlier investments include GuruNet (now public as and iNest Realty (which was recently acquired by LendingTree).

“The world doesn’t need another $250 million fund chasing the same billion-dollar startups. Our mantra is, Small is Beautiful,” Reichert says. -A.G.