VC fund briefs, week of Jan. 25, 2010

Polaris Venture Partners scales back for new fund

In October, Terry McGuire of Polaris Venture Partners said that the future of venture capital would be smaller funds and smaller partnerships. He declined to say at the time if that applied to Polaris itself, but it does.

Polaris is targeting $500 million for its sixth fund, after raising $1 billion for its fifth fund in 2006. At least one current partner will not be part of the new fund: Robert “Bob” Geiman, who joined the firm in September 2002 and focuses primarily on IT investments. Geiman sits on the boards of AePona, Paratek, Phreesia, Public Earth, Roundbox and Wakonda Technologies.

Polaris did not respond to requests for comment.

It appears that most of the rest of Polaris’s investment staff will stay put. This includes the growth equity/buyouts group.

One change, however, is that Polaris will no longer use the managing general partner title, which had been shared by McGuire, Jon Flint and Alan Spoon. It’s a bit of organizational flattening that probably plays well with younger partners. —Dan Primack

HLM holds first close

HLM Venture Partners
has held a $65 million first close for its third fund. The Boston-based firm is targeting $200 million.

The firm raised $216 million for a fund that closed in 2005.

Trident aims to spear $400M

Trident Capital is raising upwards of $400 million for its seventh fund, according to a regulatory filing. The firm has already secured about $194 million in capital commitments.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based VC firm closed its sixth fund with $400 million in 2004.

Industrial companies launch VC fund in Europe

Alstom SA
and Schneider Electric announced last week that they have launched a $100 million venture capital fund. The Paris-based fund, called Alster Capital, will focus on investments in the energy and environmental sectors.

The companies said that Aster Capital will seek to take minority interests in startups based in Europe, North America and Asia that are developing new technologies related to energy and the environment

Since 2000, Schneider Electric Ventures has back 20 startups in North American and Europe from a $70 million fund.

Cleantech fund holds first close


and Deutsche Bank have held a $265 million first close on a fund that will invest in expansion stage and late stage cleantech and renewable energy companies.

Limited partners include Siemens, Japan Oil Development Co., Nippon Oil Corp., Development Bank of Japan and General Electric.