Private Equity Week Wire for Monday 11/26

PALO ALTO, CA — Skyline Ventures announced today that it has completed its final closing on $150 million in committed capital for its new fund, Skyline III and affiliated funds. The firm now has $250 million under management. Skyline’s funds focus exclusively on early stage investments in healthcare and life sciences companies. With the new fund, Skyline will be able to invest as much as $10-12 million in any single portfolio company over the course of several venture rounds.

The new fund will be managed by Skyline Ventures founder John G. Freund, former healthcare partner at Morgan Stanley Ventures and co-founder of Intuitive Surgical, Triad Therapeutics and Zyomyx; Yasunori Kaneko, former Vice President of Business Development at Tularik and a fixture in the Silicon Valley biotech world for almost 20 years; and Stephen Sullivan, a founder and former senior executive at Healthvision.

NASHVILLE, TN — MDS Inc. (NYSE:MDZ) (TSE:MDS), an international health and life sciences company, MDS Capital, a leading North American venture capital firm, and a group of private American investors, have made an additional US$25 million investment commitment in INPHACT, a leading provider of web-delivered medical imaging services and software.

FREMONTCA — Appshop Inc., the largest independent Oracle (Nasdaq:ORCL) Application Service Provider (ASP), announced today receipt of $15 million in its second round of funding. New investor, 3i, a leading international venture capital company, led the round that included previous investors, El Dorado Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Osprey Ventures, RSA Security and Walden TDF. In conjunction with the round, Appshop named J. Sanford (Sandy) Miller from 3i to its board. Sandy brings over 25 years of investment related experience with technology growth companies.

NEW YORK — SchoolNet Inc, the leader in data-driven decision-making for K-12 school districts, has secured $5.0 million in Series B financing. This new round of funding was led by Ascend Venture Group, LLC, a New York City-based private equity firm that invests in companies that leverage emerging technologies. The Princeton Review, Inc. (NASDAQ:REVU), an earlier investor and strategic partner of SchoolNet’s, also participated.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA— Novasonics Inc., a medical device company developing high quality ultrasound products, announced today that it has raised $21.5 million in a Series C funding. The company will use this capital to complete the development and launch of its initial product line into the hand held ultrasound market, and to initiate development of future products in its family of advanced ultrasound devices.

Merrill Lynch Ventures, a private equity investment entity affiliated with Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., is the lead investor in Novasonics’ Series C funding round. Additional new investors in the Series C round include Siemens Venture Capital, Texas Instruments Incorporated and Mosaix Ventures. In addition, both of Novasonics’ Series B investors, Earlybird, and Frazier Healthcare, are participants in the Series C funding round. Novasonics’ Series C financing is one of the largest Medical Device financings this year.
DALLAS — Preferred Voice Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: PFVI) announced the completion of a private equity offering that raised $3 million in gross proceeds from institutional and individual investors. This additional capital will support the Company’s continued deployment of its speech recognition services and technologies to telecommunications carriers, application providers and enterprise partners.

PALO ALTO, CA — Worldview Technology Partners, a leading venture firm with more than $1.75 billion under management, announced today that Steve Eglash, a former executive at SDL and JDS Uniphase, has joined the firm as Senior Associate. Eglash, 44, will be responsible for identifying new investment opportunities primarily in the communications field, and will also support Worldview’s portfolio companies, enabling them to tap into his 17 years of experience in marketing, business development, and operations.

Eglash brings to Worldview extensive operational experience in general management, product marketing, and engineering in fiber-optic components and subsystems. Before joining Worldview, Eglash was a vice president at SDL (acquired by JDS Uniphase in 2001) where he managed efforts in pump lasers, optical amplifiers, and industrial lasers. During his tenure, SDL grew its revenue from $20M in 1993 to $500M in 2000.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND — Pentech Ventures, the Glasgow based early-stage technology venture capital fund launched earlier this year, announced today that it has secured a GBP5 million investment from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP), bringing total funds under management to GBP17 million. The Pentech fund, which is managed by Penta Capital, is aiming to raise over GBP20 million to invest primarily in software companies located throughout the UK.

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