Friday, May 9, 2008

Mass. VCs Looking Further Afield for Deals

(I'm slow to post the link to last Sunday's column, since last Saturday afternoon there was a new addition to the Kirsner family. Babies and blog posting are not so compatible, I'm finding...)

The column was headlined, 'Investing Further Afield'. From the opening:

    Massachusetts venture capitalists are starting to rack up more frequent flier miles. A business that was once exclusively local - a decade ago, most venture capitalists adhered to the adage that they'd never invest in a company they couldn't drive to - is becoming global, fast.

    Battery Ventures of Waltham is planning to open an office in Mumbai, India, this fall, and shipping one of its senior partners to Israel to help build a small team there. Earlier this year, Matrix Partners of Waltham raised $275 million from investors for its first fund dedicated to start-ups in China. Billionaire publishing entrepreneur Patrick McGovern, founder of the Boston company International Data Group, is planning to announce a $150 million fund for Eastern European investments soon - but he no longer is putting new money into New England companies.

    There's also been a tilt toward California at some local venture capital firms, like Greylock and Charles River Ventures, where the center of gravity had once been Massachusetts.

After the column ran, the PR rep for Kodiak Venture Partners wrote to remind me that Dave Furneaux at that Waltham firm has been investing in China for a while now, and that Kodiak has a partnership with Dragonvest Partners in Shanghai to co-invest in Chinese companies.

And as I was wrapping up the column, Carl Stjernfeldt at Castile Ventures had mentioned that his firm has three deals at the term sheet stage, all of them in California.

Here's the video that accompanied the column, which features Charlie Lax of Grand Banks Capital and Vinit Nijhawan, a VC and entrepreneur now working at Boston University.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

VC Vinit Nijhawan Turns in His Key

Missed this tidbit from Dan Primack at PEWeek in late September, but it seems like Vinit Nijhawan has split from Key Venture Partners.

From Dan's piece:

    KVP managing director David Dame confirmed the news yesterday (Nijhawan remains on the firm’s website), and said that it was caused by a divergence of stage focus: “Vinit decided that he has a greater interest in early-stage investing, whereas we’re more focused on growth-stage.”

    I also asked Dame about a secondary explanation – that Nijhawan has no economics in the current KVP fund, and had grown weary of waiting for the next one. Dame acknowledged that Nijhawan had the possibility for economics in the next fund, but reaffirmed his original “stage” statement. He also said that KVP still has dry powder for new investments, and that marketing for the next fund is expected to begin in early 2008.

As of today, Vinit is still on the site... and hasn't mentioned the switch on his own blog.

My guess is he'll resurface soon as a start-up CEO, which is his real love. He is already working with entrepreneurs in the robotics and wireless power spaces.

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