Voyager Finishes Fund II Journey

It apparently doesn’t pour every time it rains.

Despite the well-publicized troubles of Northwest neighbor Microsoft, with which Seattle-based venture firm Voyager Capital has numerous ties, the firm expected to announce today that it has closed out its second fund at $215 million. The company had originally intended to raise just $125 million when the new vehicle was launched last November, but intense investor interest convinced management to raise the bar.

The new capital will be used to invest in between 15 and 20 early-stage companies, the first three of which are XML product provider Planet 7 Technologies, e-insurance solutions firm ClaimsDesk and Web-based infomediary eCustomers.com. Average investments will fall between $8 million and $12 million over the portfolio company’s lifetime.

While Voyager does not plan to stray far from its existing business-to-business e-commerce, intranet and wireless focus, it could experience some portfolio diversification as it begins to pursue some data communications and telecom market opportunities.

“There are some attractive companies in those spaces, so I think we’ll take a good look at them,” said Enrique Godreau, managing director with Voyager.

He added that some of those opportunities could come out of the proprietary deal flow arrangement Voyager has with Microsoft AlumNet, a network of more than 2000 former Microsoft employees founded by Tony Audino, managing director with Voyager.

Institutional investors in Voyager Capital Fund II include Chase Capital Partners, Citigroup Investments, Merrill Lynch KECA, Mutual of New York, Norwest Venture Partners, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, Travelers Insurance, Vanderbilt University, University of Washington and Venture Capital Management of Germany.

Individual investors include executives from such firms as Adobe, Amazon.com, Microsoft and MCI WorldCom.

Voyager’s initial venture capital foray was the $48 million vehicle formed in November of 1997 that Godreau said was fully returned by the $126 million initial public offering for portfolio company Avenue A Inc. this past February. The fund is currently 90% invested with the remaining 10% already committed to the five existing portfolio companies, which have yet to experience a liquidity event.

In addition to closing the new fund, Voyager recently brought a pair of new venture partners on board to help run a recently-opened office in Palo Alto, Calif. The new management additions are Curtis Feeny, former executive vice president of Stanford Management Co. and Tom Kippola, managing director of The Chasm Group.