SunBridge Fund Rises in U.S.

Asian boutique VC firm SunBridge Partners is raising a $100 million U.S. technology fund. Allen Miner, founder of SunBridge, said that he is joining three principles from Equitek Capital to raise SunBridge Partners Technology Fund III, the largest fund to date under the SunBridge umbrella.

Miner, the founder of Oracle Japan, told PE Week that the new fund will invest in RFID, wireless communications and manufacturing process innovation.

He hopes for a first close this spring and a final close before the end of the year.

Miner says the fund will invest from $2 million to $6 million per startup, and he expects between 12 to 14 companies in the new fund.

Miner says that the $12 million SunBridge Technology Fund I and the $9.7 million SunBridge Technology Fund 2002 – which have invested primarily in Japan – have been among the most successful of all technology funds of their vintages. Fund I, for example, had invested in, Macromill and G-mode, all three of which have gone public. Miner says the fund returned 3x its original capital with nine portfolio companies still active.

Joining Miner in the new fund are the three founders of Equitek Capital in the United States: Ken Erhart, Paul Grim and John Gannon. Equitek’s existing LPs have decided not to support another Equitek Fund, but because the group’s technology interests had so many overlaps, Miner says that they decided to band together under the SunBridge brand to raise a larger fund. The group will retain Equitek’s Palo Alto, Calif., office, as well as SunBridge’s Tokyo offices.

Miner says the group plans to differentiate the investment strategy of the new fund by focusing on opportunities that arise from university and research labs. Miner says that most of the fund’s investments are aimed at Series B and Series C rounds, or companies that have products in development waiting for manufacturing support.