VC fund briefs, week of May 5, 2008

Quaker BioVentures caps oversubscribed sophomore fund

Quaker BioVentures, which invests in life sciences companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, says it has closed on $420 million for its second fund. It beat its target by $120 million. The firm, based in the City of Brotherly Love, says it raised $280 million for its previous fund and invested in 24 companies.

Its prior fund has already had three liquidity events and has two more pending. Portfolio company Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: FOLD) went public in May 2007, while Eximias Pharmaceutical Corp. was acquired in April 2006 and MedMark Inc. was bought in June 2006. Acquisitions are pending for portfolio companies BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corp. and Precision Therapeutics Inc.

Sherrill Neff, a Quaker founding partner, said in a prepared statement that the Mid-Atlantic area “continues to lag in the pace of life sciences venture investment, even though it is home to many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, leading research institutions and government agencies.”

In addition to Neff, the Philadelphia-based firm has five other partners: Brenda Gavin, Richard Kollender, Ira Lubert, Adele Cirone Oliva and Dr. Matthew Rieke. Oliva, formerly with Apax Partners, joined Quaker last year.

Quaker did not reveal the names of the limited partners in its second fund, but Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week) reports that the firm’s LPs include the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.

Quaker’s second fund has already invested in five life science companies: Argolyn BioScience, Diasome Pharmaceuticals, EKR Therapeutics, Optherion and Transave. —Lawrence Aragon

Gore’s Generation closes $683M climate fund

London-based Generation Investment Management, which is chaired by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, has raised $683 million for its Climate Solutions Fund.

The crossover fund, which will target public and private companies, will invest in renewable energy technologies, building efficiency, cleaner fossil energy, sustainable agriculture and carbon markets, making average investments of $30 million a time.

Of the $683 million, $100 million is to be committed to a new fund from U.S. venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to published reports. When Kleiner Perkins and Generation announced a partnership last fall and Gore joined the venture firm as a partner, the firms said that they would share resources and due diligence efforts. Kleiner Perkins is co-locating its European investment efforts in Generation’s London offices. And Kleiner Perkins Partner John Doerr sits on the Generation advisory board.

Generation was launched in 2004 by Gore and David Blood, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Austin forms SaaS platform

Austin Ventures has formed an acquisition platform to roll up enterprise-class social software-as-a-service companies. The platform also will provide strategic consulting services, and it will be run by former Razorfish co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Dachis. Austin Ventures is committing $50 million to the venture.

Fountain closes Irish life sciences fund

Fountain Healthcare Partners has raised more than $115 million in committed capital for its debut fund, which it says makes it the largest life sciences dedicated fund in Ireland. The fund is targeted at about $150 million.

Limited partners include the European Investment Fund, the National Pension Reserve Fund and Enterprise Ireland.

The firm is an Ireland-based spinout from Elan Pharmaceutical’s New York-based corporate venture capital group. Fountain will maintain a New York office, but most of its investments will be in Europe.

ATA aims for $250M

ATA Ventures has begun marketing its third fund with a $250 million target, according to VentureWire. It is expecting to hold a first, and perhaps final, close in July. The Redwood City, Calif.-based firm raised $196 million for its second fund back in 2006.

Legend secures $350M

Legend Capital closed its fourth fund with $350 million in capital commitments. The Beijing-based firm focuses on early stage VC and mid-market growth equity opportunities in China. Its typical investment size is between $5 million and $20 million.