VC fund briefs, week of April 27, 2009

Step5 Ventures prepares to launch

Another new venture firm, founded by an ambitious entrepreneur, has emerged.

In recent weeks, PE Week has reported about the launch of new seed and early stage firms founded by entrepreneurs, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Freestyle Capital, K9 Ventures and Quest Venture Partners.

The latest is Step5 Ventures, managed by Noah Doyle, a University of California at Berkeley graduate who previously co-founded Internet marketing company MyPoints, which was acquired by UAL Corp. for $112 million in 2001. Doyle then became director of sales and market development at the digital mapping startup Keyhole, which was acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount in 2004.

He then co-founded LSC Ventures, an Oakland, Calif.-based consultancy that offers management and operational guidance to companies, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Doyle was unavailable for comment, but he has reportedly launched Step5 and raised an early stage fund with an East Coast venture capitalist who himself has co-founded numerous companies. —Constance Loizos

3i sells 10 VC portfolio stakes

Last week, 3i Group announced it has sold its stakes in 10 portfolio companies to Cipio Partners, a direct secondaries firm. No financial terms were disclosed for the sale, which involved companies from 3i’s European venture capital portfolio.

London newspaper the Independent reported that Coller Capital and HabourVest Partners were considering bids for the VC fund.

Trinity Ventures raises $300M

Early stage tech investor Trinity Ventures raised $300 million for Trinity Ventures X. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm raised $300 million for its ninth fund in 2005.

Ecosystem Ventures mulls second fund

Seed stage investor Ecosystem Ventures is about to cap its debut fund at $10 million, then head to Europe to raise a second fund at least twice that size, according to VentureWire.

The Saratoga, Calif.-based firm has been investing from fund I since it was launched in 2005. About half of the fund was raised from firm President Alex Fries, while the rest was raised from wealthy families in Europe.