Draper Fisher Jurvetson has wrapped up its tenth fund, with $350 million in capital commitments. The firm posted a related press release to its website late Friday, but didn’t submit it to the newswires.
“Raising a fund is no longer a newsworthy event from our perspective,” DFJ partner Josh Stein explained to me over the weekend. “We want to generate attention for our exits.”
It’s an interesting argument, and one worth further discussion. Maybe tomorrow. For now, however, let’s discuss the fundraise (because that is, for better or worse, what we do here)…
DFJ originally sent out books in late 2008 with a $600 million cover, which was a slight reduction from the $650 million raised in 2007 for Fund IX. But launching a venture fundraise in late 2008 was a lot like me trying to buy a Porsche. You can say you’re going to do it. You can go through the opening motions. But, eventually, some inescapable realities turn the entire thing into a farce.
Not only was the overall VC fundraising window shut, but DFJ experienced some messaging problems related to older deals done out of affiliate funds like ePlanet Ventures. So the firm slowed down the process, and later scaled back its capital ambitions to $400 million.
DFJ ultimately came up short of the revised target, but Stein says that the partners “feel pretty good.” He adds: “This has been a very unusual fund cycle. Our traditional investing model led us to believe that we’d be done with Fund IX in mid-2009, but we just made the last investment in that fund a couple of weeks ago.”
Don’t expect any major changes in terms of investment strategy, including a diversified sector focus that includes IT, mobile, cleantech and life sciences. The team remains mostly the same with ten investing partners, including one in China and one in India. The only partner cutting back for this vehicle is Warren Packard, who will continue to manage existing investments but ! will not make new ones.
*** There’s a Dow Jones report< /strong> this morning that The Blackstone Group is expected to bid for private equity giant AlpInvest, which is being shopped by its Dutch pension fund owners. The second part is accurate (the part about being shopped), but multiple sources tell me that Blackstone has no plans to make an offer.
*** Tim Connors has left U.S. Venture Partners, which he first joined nearly a decade ago. He’s no longer listed on the firm’s website, although a cached version shows that recent board seats include 4info.net, Blekko.com, Guidewire Software, Media6Degrees.com, M-Factor.com and Right90.com.
VentureWire reports that he’s forming a new firm focused on early-stage investments in business and consumer Internet services, but did not provide additional details (fund size, partners, etc.). Will try to get that for tomorrow…
*** On Friday, I wondered about Joe Lacob’s future as a partner with Kleiner Perkins, following news that he had ag! reed to buy the Golden State Warriors. So I emailed Lacob and left a voicemail for Kleiner’s outside PR reps.
Lacob replied quickly: “Good question. But, I cannot comment on this one yet.” I wasn’t sure if that meant he couldn’t comment because the Warriors deal isn’t closed or because KP hadn’t yet discussed the matter with LPs. Or perhaps because he hadn’t made decision.
An hour or so later, KP’s PR rep called to say Lacob will remain as a fulltime partner with Kleiner Perkins. Resolution or miscommunication?
*** Quiz Time: Can you name the latest U.S. venture capital firm to seriously consider raising a China fund? Hint: It has some China deals already in its general fund portfolio.
*** peHUB Shindig Time: Our next peHUB Shindig takes place on August 5 in Atlanta. We expect to sell out, so be sure to get your ticket today. They cost just $10 each, with proceeds going to a local nonprofit to be chosen by event ! attendees.
Get tix at: http://pehubatlanta.eventbrite.com
Big thanks to sponsors Grant Thornton, Navigation Capital Partners and Womble Carlyle. Without sponsors, we can’t Shindig…
The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital have agreed to buy Australian hospital company Healthscope Ltd. (AX: HSP) for US$1.73 billion.
Genco Distribution Systems Inc. has agreed to buy engineering and logistics firm ATC Technology Group (Nasdaq: ATAC) for around $512.6 million in cash. The deal will be partially financed via a $125 million investment from Greenbriar Equity Group.
Pixazza, a platform that allows shoppers to buy products from photos seen on websites, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Shasta Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers August Capital, CMEA Capital and Google Ventures. The company previously raised $5.75 million.
EndoStim Inc., a St Louis-based developer of minimally-invasive interventional therapies to treat gastrointestinal and urological neuro-muscular disorders, has raised $6 million in Series B funding. Santé Ventures led the round, and was joined by Prolog Ventures, Vectis Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund and individual angels.
Puppet Labs, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of data center automation, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round, and was joined by return backers True Ventures and Radar Partners.
Advent International, Blackstone Group and TPG Capital are among those still interested in acquiring RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), according to Reuters.
Energy Future Holdings Corp. (fka TXU), a portfolio company of KKR and TPG Capital, has launched a new, multi-billion dollar debt exchange.
Riverside Partners has made a “significant investment” in Tech Valley Communications, an Albany, N.Y.-based CLEC and provider of fiber optic telecom services. No financial terms were disclosed.
Epocrates Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of clinical information and support tools to healthcare professionals, has filed for a $75 million IPO. It originally filed for a $75 million IPO in April 2008, but withdrew later that year, telling the SEC that its offering would have been “discretionary financing.” The company has raised over $86 million in VC funding, from firms like The Sprout Group, Goldman Sachs, InterWest Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Three Arch Partners and Bay City Cap! ita.
Kinder Morgan, a Houston-based pipeline company, reportedly is preparing for an IPO. It was taken private in 2007 for $14.6 billion by The Carlyle Group and GS Capital Partners.
Birds Eye Iglo, a portfolio company of Permira, has agreed to buy Italian froze! n foods group Findus from Unilever for €805 million.
Google has acquired Metaweb Technologies Inc., a San Francisco-based maker of infrastructure for sharing data and building applications on the web. No financial terms were disclosed. Metaweb had raised over $57 million in VC funding from Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Omidyar Network and Millennium Technology Ventures.
MBK Partners has begun the process of selling its stakes in China Network Systems Co Ltd. (CNS) and Gala Television Corp.
Firms & Funds
Avalon Ventures is raising upwards of $200 million for its ninth fund, according to a regulatory filing. The La Jolla, Calif.-based firm already has secured $118 million in capital commitments.It is currently investing out of a $150 million fund raised in 2007. www.avalon-ventures.com
Emerald Hill Capital Partners of Hong Kong has closed its second Asian fund-of-funds with $300 million in capital commitments.
Gravis Capital Partners is launching what would become Britain’s first listed infrastructure fu! nd. The IPO target is £50 million.
Andy Macdonald, Nick Marsh and Scott Switzer have joined FirstMark Capital as venture partners. Macdonald is president of CoreLogix’s investigative and litigation services unit. Marsh co-founded Cosi and Switzer founded OpenX.