VC Trio Uncorks New Shasta

A trio of VC castaways formally teamed up last week, as Shasta Ventures emerged from stealth mode. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm is looking to raise an inaugural fund of between $175 million and $200 million, and will be managed by: Rob Coneybeer, a former general partner with New Enterprise Associates; Tod Francis, a former general partner with Trinity Ventures; and Ravi Mohan, a former general partner with Battery Ventures.

Each of Shasta’s managing directors left their previous firm for a different reason, but one common denominator was that the firms themselves were changing. All three were downsizing their general partner ranks, and both NEA and Battery were moving toward expansion-stage and later-stage investment strategies that didn’t mesh with early-stage disciples like Coneybeer and Mohan. Francis also parted due to investment strategy changes, as Trinity de-emphasized consumer software.

“We are going to focus on early-stage information technology companies,” Francis says. “This is a good time to build a small manageable firm.”

He adds that the firm plans to add some associates and other support staff as it ramps up. Shasta is not yet ready to begin investing, but has been meeting with companies to remain active.

Once the fund is raised, or a first close is held, Shasta will focus on infrastructure, software and technology-enabled service companies that target both the business and consumer sectors.

Francis declined to discuss any aspect of his firm’s fund-raising effort. The $175 million to $200 million target capitalization was provided by a different source familiar with the offering.