Thomas Weisel VC arm plans spinoff

A spinoff of the venture capital arm of San Francisco investment bank and asset manager Thomas Weisel Partners is expected to begin raising a new fund early next year, according to a report in Private Equity Insider.

The new firm, to be called Intercept Partners, will be led by David Crowder and Andy Sessions, general partners and co-founders of Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. They are expected to set a fund-raising goal of about $175 million and be based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Crowder, Sessions and a Thomas Weisel spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Thomas Weisel is expected to invest in the spinoff. The first Thomas Weisel venture fund, raised in 2000 with $255 million, has invested in more than 30 startups, with a focus on software, Internet and communications technology.