RVC Sprouts $250M Fund Four

In an attempt to grow out its Greenhouse Funds, Reuters Group PLC’s venture capital arm this Wednesday is expecting to announce that it is launching an investment vehicle which will, for the first time, be open to limited partners other than its parent company.

TReuters Greenhouse IV, is targeted at $250 million and expected to have an initial close this fall, followed by subsequent closings next year. As for the decision to accept non-Reuters investments, David Lockwood, a managing partner who will help administer the fund from Rueters Venture Capital’s (RVC) San Francisco office, said that with the $400 million from the previous Greenhouse trio of funds now fully invested in 83 portfolio companies, the firm decided it was high time to expand its reach.

“The fund is now six years old, so it was time for us to grow beyond our traditional investments, and it’s also an opportunity for us to bring in other corporate and financial investors to leverage our business,” Lockwood explained.

To that end, the firm intends to approach pensions, endowments, fund-of-funds and large corporations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In order to kick-start RVC’s fund-raising efforts, Reuters already has ponied up an undisclosed commitment for Greenhouse IV.

Like the firm’s previous vehicles, Fund IV’s average investment size will be between $5 million and $10 million. RVC hasn’t completely ironed out which industry sectors it will focus on, but as in the past, it will likely pursue finance- and media-related deals. It also will broaden its strategy to include software and infrastructure plays in order to leverage the partners’ expertise, Lockwood said.

Some of RVC’s previous investments include InterTrust Technologies Corp., Medsite Inc., StarMedia Inc. and VeriSign Inc.

In addition to Lockwood, RVC Managing Partner John Taysom will co-manage the fund in London and the firm plans to bring additional partners on board on both sides of the Atlantic this year.

The launch of the new fund follows up RVC’s decision late last year to pull the plug on a proposed IPO for the Greenhouse funds, a move Lockwood attributed to the faltering public markets.