Millennium Holds First Close

Another firm is gearing up for an explosive secondary market for direct venture assets. New York-based Millennium Technology Ventures, which began five years ago as a traditional venture firm, recently held a $70 million first close on a secondary fund, Millennium Technology Value Partners.

The firm aims to raise between $100 million and $150 million for the fund.

Limited partners in the fund include family foundations, hedge funds and individuals, including Blackstone Group executives J. Tomlinson Hill and Peter Peterson. Millennium Managing Partners Daniel Burstein and Samuel Schwerin are formerly Blackstone executives.

So far the firm has conducted 15 secondary transactions, including one from its new fund. It has completed three transactions for assets from Alliance Capital Management, now-defunct hedge fund Bowman Capital, Lantronix (NASDAQ: LTRX) and Scientific-Atlanta. Sellers also include individuals, such as former corporate executives seeking to liquefy assets of former employers. Millennium prefers to buy assets of older, more mature companies, which helps to minimize risk.

Through its secondary buys last year, Millennium Technology Ventures now has stakes in Santa Barbara, Calif.-based tunable telecom component developer Agility; Billerica, Mass.-based optical component provider Axsun Technologies; and Ubicom, a Mountain View, Calif.-based wireless networking chip developer.