Jarvinian eyes $150M for inaugural fund

Early stage investor Jarvinian is looking to raise a first fund of $150 million, PE Week has learned.

The Boston-based firm plans to invest in 17 to 19 portfolio companies, ranging from million-dollar rounds to $10 million per company over the life of the fund.

Managing Director John Dooley, who launched the firm earlier this year with co-founders Christopher Carter and Thomas Eddy, was reached by telephone, but declined to discuss the firm’s fund-raising efforts, citing regulatory restrictions.

The target date to complete fund-raising is not known. It’s also unclear if the firm has raised any commitments. The firm has not yet announced an investment, although the firm is looking at companies.

The firm’s focus is on three areas of telecommunications, according to its website. The firm plans to invest in core infrastructure, such as smart antennas, network optimization and spectrum squeezing; advanced components for mobile phones, such as better batteries and screens; and software that will enable media and content to be easily translated from the Web to a mobile environment.

Improving mobile phone communications service, bandwidth and other telecommunications infrastructure is not a new problem. In fact, venture capitalists have invested more than $7 billion over the past three years into more than 400 wireless communications infrastructure companies, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).

“Wireless today is an enormous market—there’s something on the order of 3.7 billion users of wireless—that’s pretty much everyone, the global addressable population,” Dooley says. “The interesting thing about wireless is that it has to service everyone and has to serve them with the same level of bandwidth they’d expect from fiber-optics.”

Dooley envisions a coming bandwidth crunch as media-enabled mobile phones, such as Apple’s iPhone, become increasingly popular.

“The brick wall we’re all headed for in terms of reliability and capacity is fast approaching,” he says. “It’s time to be serious about that from an investment perspective.”

Jarvinian is focused on finding technology and putting teams in place to help commercialize it, Dooley says. Toward that end, the team is reading scientific journals, working with university professors and talking to engineers inside the research divisions of large companies.

“We look at technology first and everything else is a matter of how much is it going to get in the way,” says Dooley. “It’s the 1970s’ model of venture capital.”

Dooley previously founded Novatics, an R&D company that worked with mobile broadband. Eddy was COO at Atlas Venture before launching Jarvinian. Carter was a partner at Sherbrooke Capital, a $100 million health and wellness venture firm.