Pro Athletes Think Big…Again

It may look like fourth and long, but the VC-focused fund-of-funds created by ex-San Francisco 49ers Harris Barton, Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana still has believers.

HRJ Capital (also known as Champion Ventures) is raising its fourth fund. Called HRJ Capital VC IV LP, it has a target of $150 million and has already raised nearly $30 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The filing lists four limited partners: the Duffield Family Foundation (as in PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield); the Edgerton Foundation; the Ford Family Foundation; and the Sierra Health Foundation.

HRJ launched during the tech bubble, so it’s likely that its first two FoFs – raised in 1999 and 2000 – will perform poorly due to meager returns from venture funds spawned in those years. That may explain why it was able to raise just $73.5 million for its third FoF in 2003 – less than half of the $185 million it raised for its second fund. But it also makes one wonder why HRJ has set a $150 million target for its fourth fund.

HRJ’s website boasts that its funds have invested with “25 of the top fund managers.” They include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mayfield, New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia Capital, Summit Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, among others.