Early-stage venture capital firm Ignition Partners has closed its fifth fund on $150m after a significant restructuring saw it scale back its fundraising ambitions.
The Washington-based firm, which was co-founded by former Microsoft Windows veteran Brad Silverberg, collected $400m for its last vehicle in 2007, and $285m for its first institutional fund in 2001.
Reducing the fund target helped Ignition complete a fast fundraise, however, with the Ignition Venture Partners V becoming oversubscribed in less than three months.
The firm said investors in the vehicle included Adams Street Partners, returning and new university endowments, pension funds and investment firms.
Ignition lost three of its partners in 2009 when they left to form a new group called Ignition Capital.
The core team behind the latest fund now consists of partners John Connors, Frank Artale and Nick Sturiale, who previously worked at JAFCO Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and the Carlyle Group respectively.
Sturiale was brought on board to run a new office based in California to give the firm a larger Silicon Valley presence, it said.
Connors, a former top Microsoft executive who served as its CFO, joined Ignition in 2005, while Artale, a longtime software-industry executive who has held top positions at companies including Citrix, XenSource and Microsoft, came on board in 2011.
Connors said, “With approximately $450m in distributions in the last 12 months, our firm has strong momentum going forward, and we are honored to receive such strong support and validation from our limited partners.
“We are extremely upbeat about the current market and view the recent string of successful, enterprise-software IPOs as the start of a decade-long run of innovation that will usher in major productivity enhancements, and new ways of doing business, for companies worldwide.”
Tom Gladden, a partner at investor Adams Street Partners, said, “We applaud Ignition’s refined, more-focused approach to early-stage investing and believe the enterprise-IT landscape is poised to create important new companies and substantial new wealth.”
Ignition exits include the IPO of big data company Splunk 12 months ago and the sales of StorSimple, Azaleos and Zenprise.
The firm’s current investments include Cloudera, DocuSign, Parse, Hipmunk and Bromium.
Ignition said its latest fund will invest more narrowly in areas such as consumerised enterprise software, cloud technologies and big data.
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