VC fund briefs, week of March 16, 2009

VCs pitch distressed VC fund

Marty Pichinson

, principal and founding partner of Sherwood Partners, and George Hoyem, managing director of Blueprint Ventures, are shopping around the idea of launching a fund to invest in distressed and liquidating VC portfolio companies.

Details of the proposed fund, which is in the early stages of formation, are not known.

Hoyem and Blueprint Managing Director Bart Schachter both said that the proposed distressed VC fund could provide synergies to Blueprint, which suggests that the two funds could possibly work side-by-side.

Blueprint hopes to return to market in Q4 or in early 2010 to raise a new fund. It currently has cash for existing portfolio companies, but not to invest in new ones. —Dan Primack

Pappas pulls in $102M

Pappas Ventures has closed its fourth fund with $102 million in capital commitments. The Durham, N.C.-based firm, f.k.a. A.M. Pappas & Associates, raised $108 million for its third fund, which closed in 2005.

Pappas focuses on product-oriented biopharma companies and medical technologies. Pappas expects to invest in approximately 12 to 15 portfolio companies over the next several years. It is now actively evaluating potential investments.

The firm also announced that it promoted Rosina Maar Pavia and Sean McCarthy to partner and senior principal, respectively. Maar Pavia joined Pappas in 2000 and has most recently served as a venture partner for the firm. McCarthy joined Pappas in 2006, after serving as a business development executive at SGX Pharmaceuticals and as a manager of drug discovery programs at Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, Partner Arthur Klausner plans to leave the firm later this year.

Epic Ventures eyes $150M

Epic Ventures is raising upwards of $150 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. So far it has raised about $36 million in commitments.

The Salt Lake City-based firm previously was known as Wasatch Venture Fund, and focuses on early stage IT companies in the Western United States.