Ascent Venture Partners in $200m fundraise

The early stage technology-focused venture capital firm has held an initial close on its fifth fund, targeted at upwards of $200m. It already has two initial deals with signed term sheets in the pipeline for the fund.

Boston-based Ascent Venture Partners is raising its fifth fund, targeted at upwards of $200 million (€143 million), according to a regulatory filing.

A source close to the matter confirmed that Ascent has held an initial close for the fund and has two deals with signed term sheets waiting to be executed.

Like its predecessors, Fund V will target early stage information technology companies on the US East Coast.

In 2003, Ascent closed its fourth fund with $140 million in commitments. For Fund V, the firm reported a 50 percent uptick in average commitment from its previous investors, which include a mix of pension funds, banks and insurance companies, the source said.

Two Massachusetts public pensions, the Cambridge Retirement Board of the City of Cambridge and the Essex Regional Retirement Board, have approved commitments to Ascent Venture Partners V. Essex County also committed to Fund IV.

Ascent has backed more than 90 companies since its founding in 1985.