Texan VC LiveOak Venture Partners raises $109m for first fund


Texas-based early stage VC firm LiveOak Venture Partners has held a final closing for its inaugural fund on more than $109m.

This is also the largest pool of capital raised in Texas for investment in early-stage technology companies in over five years, the firm said.

LiveOak will aim to capitalise on a pipeline of emerging Texas area startups led by local entrepreneurs and invest in upwards of 15 new portfolio companies across IT and technology-enabled services.

“Our investment in the fund was driven by the team’s successful track record in this market, deep-rooted network and hands-on approach with past investments,” said Stuart Bernstein at Teachers Retirement System of Texas and one of the early investors in the fund.

Total Texas investments were $1.3bn in 2013, compared to the $12.2bn in Silicon Valley alone, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Texas is “materially underserved” given it is the second largest employer of tech talent and home to the second most productive university system in the country in invention disclosures and patents. LiveOak said it hopes to close the disparity gap on the capital-starved environment, while also enhancing opportunities for other local and out-of-state investors to tap into this potential.

LiveOak was founded by Venu Shamapant, Krishna Srinivasan, and Ben Scott who have created more than $1.5bn of enterprise value from invested companies over the past 10 years with more than a third of their portfolio companies originated at the seed/incubation stage at the time of their first investment.

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