VC fund briefs, Feb. 1, 2010

Sofinnova Partners closes sixth fund

Sofinnova Partners, a Paris-based venture firm, has closed its sixth fund with about $370 million in capital commitments.

MVision served as placement agent, while limited partners include CDC Enterprises, Industrial & Financial Investments Co., JP Morgan Asset Management, Partners Group and Skandia Life Insurance Co.

Sofinnova Partners raised about $500 million for its fifth fund, which closed in 2005.

Environmental Innovation holds first close


Environmental Innovation Fund, a cleantech venture vehicle formed by U.K.-based Innovation Investment Fund and which is managed by Hermes Private Equity, has held a first close of about $200 million in capital commitments.

The Environmental Innovation Fund will invest in low carbon and clean technology funds and co-investing in companies.

Hermes Private Equity CEO Susan Flynn said in a prepared release that the fund has already identified a number of investment opportunities and “will begin to deploy capital shortly.”

Utah firm raises $35M

Salt Lake City-based vSpring Capital has raised an additional $35 million for vSpring III from three investors, according to a recent regulatory filing.

It is unknown how much the firm has raised for its third fund. More than a year ago, PE Week reported that vSpring lowered the target of its third early stage fund to about $200 million and was more than halfway to its target.

The firm’s second early stage fund capped out at $86 million in 2004, but the firm then added a $39.6 million supplemental fund to back some of its most promising portfolio companies from fund II. Separately, vSpring is also shopping a new fund it calls Kickstart Seed Fund. The fund will invest in university spinouts from Utah and New Mexico.

Known LPs include Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Merrill Lynch & Co., New Mexico State Investment Council, SVB Financial Group, Wells Fargo & Co. and Zions Bancorporation.

Psilos launches parallel side fund

The Psilos Group, a New York-based venture firm that is seeking $450 million for its fourth fund, has created a parallel fund with a $25 million target. Diamond Edge Capital Partners is the firm’s placement agent.

The firm focuses on health care services, health care IT and medical technology, and especially on companies that can improve health care and lower costs.

Weathergage hopes to reign in second fund

Weathergage Venture Capital Management, a VC funds of funds manager formed by former Knightsbridge Advisors pros, has entered the market with its second fund. The Redwood City, Calif.-based firm seeks $200 million for Weathergage Venture Capital II, with $50 million for a parallel offshore fund.

The firm’s first fund had $250 million in commitments and closed in 2007. Cazenave & Co. is the firm’s placement agent.