VC fund briefs, week of June 1, 2009

Vista Ventures seeks to raise $125M

Vista Ventures has launched efforts to begin raising $125 million for its second fund to invest in early stage tech companies, according to Private Equity Insider.

The Boulder, Colo.-based firm raised $75 million for its inaugural fund in 2000, which was partly backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Co. program.Vista Ventures earlier this year sold portfolio company Groople Inc., an Englewood, Colo.-based provider of Web-based group travel services, to Short’s Travel Management, which specializes in handling travel arrangements for the sports market. No financial terms were disclosed. Groople had raised more than $23 million in VC funding from Vista Ventures, ArrowPath Venture Capital, FA Technology Ventures and Flywheel Ventures.

Last year, Vista Ventures saw another portfolio company get purchased when Hewlett-Packard Co. acquired Boulder, Colo.-based data-storage company LeftHand Networks Inc. for $360 million in cash. LeftHand Networks previously raised about $85 million in venture funding in several rounds from Vista, Boulder Ventures, Sprout Group, Sequel Venture Partners, Garage Technology Ventures, New World Ventures and Valhalla Partners.

Rho to test secondary market

New York-based Rho Ventures aims to raise $200 million for its first secondaries fund, according to a report last week by Private Equity Insider.

The fund size of the vehicle is not known, but Rho, which raised a $510 million balanced stage fund in 2007, will primarily use the secondaries fund to make purchases of stakes in VC funds. Part of the fund will also back tech-oriented buyout funds.