VC fund briefs, week of Sept. 8, 2008

Greenhouse Capital fired up at raising second fund

Greenhouse Capital Partners plans to raise between $75 million and $100 million for its second fund and plans to launch a cleantech incubator, according to a report by market research firm Cleantech Group.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based firm, which focuses on early stage cleantech opportunities, raised about $11 million for its first fund, which closed last year. The firm has already invested about $6 million of fund I in eight companies, including Solaicx and Mariah Power, said Pete Henig, managing partner of Greenhouse. The firm’s investments range from $250,000 to $2 million, and Greenhouse plans to continue to make small investments to fill a funding gap in the cleantech sector for early stage companies, Henig said.

“It’s less about building a bigger venture capital firm and more about trying to establish early stage and seed stage investment funds for the cleantech field,” Henig told the Cleantech Group. “We’re also looking at the possible opportunity of creating a cleantech incubator to do true, true seed stage deals where we find interesting technologies and work with the companies.”

The firm was co-founded last year by Henig, an angel investor and business journalist, David “Dino” Ferrara, a serial entrepreneur, and Michael Schwab, who runs a one-man seed fund called Big Sky Capital and is the son of billionaire brokerage founder Charles Schwab.

Greenhouse often partners with Big Sky Partners on investments that are too small for most venture firms and the two firms share office space in Sausalito.

Prism aims for $275M

Prism VentureWorks is raising its sixth fund with a $275 million target, according to a regulatory filing.

The Westwood, Mass.-based firm, which focuses on early stage digital media, software and life sciences, raised $250 million for its fifth fund, which closed in 2005.