Lasky joins Benchmark as GP

Benchmark Capital announced last week that it hired Mitch Lasky as a general partner to focus on mobile content platforms and digital security.

Lasky was most recently an executive vice president at Electronic Arts. Before that, he was CEO of Jamdat Mobile Inc., a portfolio company of Benchmark. EA bought Jamdat, a developer of cell phone games, last for year for about $680 million.

“I’ve seen a lot of interesting patterns in the mobile business and I thought I could do more with that from the venture business than carving off only a small piece of that with a startup,” Lasky told PE Week.

Fellow Benchmark partners are looking forward to benefiting from Lasky’s expertise. “There are very few executives of Mitch’s stature in either the mobile community or the gaming community,” General Partner Bill Gurley says. Lasky and Gurley each have board seats at Linden Lab, makers of the Second Life computer game.

The addition of Lasky comes on the heels of Benchmark’s successful sale earlier this month of Tellme to Microsoft for nearly $800 million.

Benchmark closed its last U.S. fund at $400 million in 2004. Since then, it has added Lasky and Peter Fenton to its GP roster.

The firm has made 10 investments so far this year, committing nearly $35 million to startups from its European, U.S., and Israel funds, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of PE Week). Fund V investments include virtual world Gaia Interactive, which received a $12 million Series B funding from Benchmark and otehr investors, and software company Gigya, which raised $2 million from Benchmark and First Round Capital.

In all, the firm has invested $125.5 million in 22 companies from Benchmark Capital V, according to Thomson Financial.