Matrix draws plans for $445M fund

Matrix Partners is having a busy summer with multiple liquidity events and now multiple fund-raising efforts.

Its latest effort is raising Matrix Partners VIII, a fund with a target of $445.5 million, according to documents filed this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The only managing partner who is listed on the filing is Matrix VIII Management Co. But according to the firm’s website, current general partners (those who will invest the new fund) include Tim Barrows, Nick Beim, Paul Ferri, Bob Lisbonne, Stan Reiss, Shirish Sathave, Dave Skok, Rob Soni and Andrew Verhalen.

Two recent exits should help the team as it markets fund VIII. In August, Cisco Systems agreed to pay $92 million in cash for portfolio company Arroyo Video Solutions, a maker of video-on-demand software. The 4-year-old company raised $27 million from Matrix, Foundation Capital and DCM–Doll Capital Management.

Four months earlier, Matrix scored a big sale with open source middleware startup JBoss, which Red Hat bought for $350 million.

Both deals were a big boost to the Waltham, Mass.-based firm. Earlier this year, it helped sell network processor developer Sandburst to Broadcom Corp. for $80 million, but Sandburst had raised about $70 million in venture funding. IBM bought a second portfolio company, Bowstreet, which makes portal development tools, but the company had raised $145 million before the acquisition. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Matrix’s new fund-raising effort comes on the heels of another vehicle raised in the summer. Waltham, Mass.-based Matrix closed a $150 million India fund, which is managed by Avnish Bajaj, who co-founded India’s most popular online marketplace,, which eBay bought for $50 million in June 2004; and Rishi Navani, who came over from Sequoia Capital India (formerly known as Westbridge).

The fund, based in Mumbai, is part of a wider trend rippling through the India venture market. Private equity investors poured $1.4 billion into 69 companies in the first quarter, which is more than three times the amount they invested during the same period in 2005, according to Venture Intelligence India. Matrix has said that it took just five months to close its India fund, which is focused primarily on consumer Internet technology.

Matrix, which also has an office in Menlo Park, Calif., has previously raised commitments from such LPs as the IBM Retirement Fund and the State of Connecticut Retirement & Trust Funds. —Constance Loizos