VC fund briefs, week of Dec. 10, 2007

CAA raising venture fund with DFJ

Creative Arts Agency, the biggest talent agency in Hollywood, is working with Draper Fisher Jurvetson to raise a venture fund from $150 million to $200 million to invest in startups in the digital/entertainment sector, according to

The report also said that Brian Garrett and Rick Smith, former partners at Palomar Ventures, and Brett Brewer, former president of Intermix, are working with Michael Yanover, head of business development at CAA, to develop the project. The money for the fund is coming from traditional VC LPs, among others.

CAA has been working closely with FunnyorDie, the comedy video sharing site founded by Will Ferrell and which is funded by Sequoia Capital.

Meanwhile, other Hollywood talent agencies, such as the William Morris Agency, have been investing in startups. WMA recently helped to launch a new vertical ad program, Giant Realm, to offer major advertisers a one-stop shop for reaching 16- to 34-year-old male fans of video games, e-sports, anime and indie music.

Rho raises $440M

Rho Ventures has secured $440 million in capital commitments for its sixth fund, according to a recent regulatory filing, which will invest in balanced stage companies.

The fund is already the firm’s largest to date. But the filing indicated that the fund has a $700 million cap.

The New York-based firm raised $425 million for fund V, which closed in 2005.

Spark jettisons non-compete clause

Boston-based venture investor Spark Capital has done away with non-compete clauses for its portfolio company employees.

As Spark Partner Bijan Sabet wrote on his blog, this is the “right thing to do.”

He also wrote that the non-compete clause is “a significant barrier to startups and innovation. I believe it significantly hurts business in the state of Massachusetts and other states that have not followed California on this issue. I’ve heard from many successful entrepreneurs that haven’t started a new company in this state because of their non-compete. Some have actually moved to California because of this.”

The firm is currently investing from a $326 million balanced stage fund raised this year.