VC fund briefs, week of Oct. 8, 2007

Braemar raises $250M for energy tech

Braemar Energy Ventures

, a New York-based firm focused on early and mid-stage energy tech opportunities, has closed its second fund with $250 million in capital commitments.

Limited partners include MassMutual, AlpInvest Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments, Robeco, GIC Special Investments, Macquarie and the PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund (sponsored by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System).

So far, one investment has been made from the second fund, though the deal is not yet announced.

Braemar’s current portfolio includes companies operating in waste-to-energy, fuel processing, batteries, photovoltaics, energy-related IT and clean coal. Among the companies in Braemar’s first fund were EnerNOC, which launched a $97 million IPO in May 2007. The Boston-based company raised about $27 million in funding from Braemar, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital and other investors.

Braemar also invested in Boston-based Celunol, a producer of ethanol and specialty chemicals from low-cost cellulosic biomass. The company merged with Diversa to form Verenium in June 2007 in a $150 million transaction. Celunol raised about $14 million from Braemar, Charles River Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Rho Ventures.

Braemar raised $60 million for its first fund in 2003. The firm operates from offices in New York and Boston.

New VC firm targets Southeast

Sunrock Ventures launched last week with an eye to keeping it local.

The Tampa, Fla.-based venture firm is raising $100 million for its inaugural fund, which will focus on venture deals in the Southeastern U.S. The firm, which also has an office in Miami, was co-founded by Tate Garrett (formerly with Advantage Capital Partners), Matthew Shaw (Crossbow Ventures) and Jeffrey Wolf (Seed-One Ventures).

“The Southeast comprises about 20% of the nation’s population, economic output and high tech industry, yet it attracted less than 5% of the total venture capital investments in 2006, and just 2.3% of the total venture capital in the country is managed by firms in the region,” says Garrett, managing director. “We intend to change that by focusing on companies in Florida and the Southeast.”

The firm will invest in between 18 and 24 companies over the next four years. Each company could see an investment range of about $4 million to $7 million, with the possibility of going as high as $10 million.

Wasatch eyes $150M

Wasatch Venture Fund

is targeting $150 million for its fourth early stage fund, with a first close expected soon. The Salt Lake City-based firm is an affiliate of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and focuses on opportunities in the IT and life sciences sectors.

The firm raised about $58 million for its last early stage fund in 2001, and it has also raised a $12 million, dedicated New Mexico fund.

Gilde raises $210M

Gilde Healthcare Partners

has closed its second venture capital fund with about $210 million in capital commitments. The Netherlands-based firm focuses on emerging companies in the therapeutic, diagnostic and medical device sectors. The firm invests in Europe and the United States.