Sierra closes $377M

Sierra Ventures has closed all the institutional investment going into its ninth fund, according to sources familiar with the firm’s fund-raising.

Sierra has raised ed $377 million in commitments from its institutional limited partners, who are not identified. Yale University Investments, MIT Private Equity, Grove Street Advisors and Adams Street Partners are among the LPs who have signed up for previous Sierra funds.

Sierra Ventures IX, which was targeted at $400 million, is smaller than the firm’s $500 million eighth fund, which closed in 2000.

The firm lists Tim Guleri, David Schwab, Peter Wendell, Steven Williams and recently promoted Ben Yu and Mark Fernandes as its partners. Absent from the GP roster is Managing Director Jeff Drazan, who has launched his own late stage fund last year, but the Sierra website still lists him as a managing director.

The firm has had two exits so far this year. It sold Micro Power Electronics to Weston Presidio for an undisclosed sum in March. Micro Power had raised $14 million from Sierra and Silicon Valley Bank. In June, the firm sold METRObility Optical Solutions to Telco Systems, Inc. for $6.5 million. METRObility had raised $22 million in debt and equity from Sierra and others. Both were Drazen investments.

Sierra’s last startup to go public was Theravance (Nasdaq: THRX), which had a $94 million offering in 2004. Shares in the company are up more than 50% from their offering price. Theravance had raised $245 million from Sierra and its other investors before it went public. Drazan took over Sierra’s board seat at Theravance in 1999. —Alexander Haislip