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MIT-birthed venture firm Romulus Capital holds $50m final close for Fund II

4 Jun 2014

growth-seedling_sqTechnology-focused venture capital firm Romulus Capital has held a final close for its second seed fund on its $50m target.

The firm, which was launched by then MIT undergraduate Krishna Gupta in 2008, is rare in the venture industry having tapped only individuals for fund commitments rather than institutional investors.

AltAssets revealed six months ago that Romulus had pulled in more than $40m for the fund thanks to commitments from 52 LPs.

Gupta said, “We were one of the earliest movers at the seed stage and structured the firm to partner closely with entrepreneurs on strategy, operational, and sales objectives to build a strong foundation as if we were members of the team.

“We are 100% aligned as partners. That comes from the DNA of the firm itself as an MIT startup – we have a focus on building rather than betting on companies.

“It continues with who and where our investors are from, their business expertise and connections in markets around the world where our portfolio companies can grow.

“What we are not is a fund paying lip service to adding value and basing decisions on investment formulas that spread risk and play the odds of success.

“With this new fund, we now have the scale and experience to power a company through the early stages in a way few seed-stage firms do.”

The fund, which follows the firm’s $1m first vehicle, secured its first commitment in November 2012 when it had $6m, a filing with the SEC showed.

Romulus targets seed-stage technology companies, investing between $50,000 and $500,000 in entrepreneurs that are affiliated with universities and incubators.

Last year Romulus participated in a $13.5m Series B round for restaurant tablet system developer E la Carte, which was led by Intel Capital.

In the same month, the firm backed Boston-based e-commerce startup Smart Lunches and online game developer Disruptor Beam.

Romulus’ other portfolio companies include online video ad placement platform DashBid, real estate marketing technology company Placester and Ginger.io, which uses big data from mobile phones to model health trends for consumers.

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