Polaris raises $1b for diversified fund

Polaris Venture Partners has closed its fifth fund with $1 billion in capital commitments, the firm announced last week, besting the $800 million to $900 million that most observers expected the firm to raise. Among the LPs are the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), which announced last month that it committed $50 million to Polaris’s new fund.

The firm’s last fund raised $915 million when it closed 2002.

Polaris invests in early stage startups, focusing on information technology and life sciences. In the fourth quarter, the firm disclosed investments in six Massachusetts companies.

In closing fund V, the Waltham, Mass.-based firm also named four new general partners: Bob Geiman (communications/growth equity), Bryce Youngren (growth equity), Peter Flint (portfolio recruiting) and Simeon Simeonov (IT). The investment team also includes four managing general partners: Steve Arnold, Jon Flint, Terry McGuire and Alan Spoon. All but Spoon were co-founders of the firm in 1996.