Baird Venture Partners exceeds target for third fund

The eight-year-old US venture firm’s Fund III has more than doubled the size of its predecessor, garnering commitments of $170m after nine months of marketing.

Baird Venture Partners has closed its third venture fund on more than $170 million (€115 million), surpassing its initial target of $150 million.

Placed by Thomas Capital Group over a nine-month period, Baird Venture Partners III attracted commitments from returning investors including the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Lurie Investments, AO Smith Retirement Plan, Northwestern Mutual, and Marshall & Ilsley.

New investors included American Family Insurance, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Sentry Insurance, and the State of Illinois Treasurer’s Office of Technology Development Account.

A subsidiary of employee-owned asset management group Baird, Baird Venture Partners was established in 2000 and invests up to $10 million in equity over the life of an investment in early- and growth-stage companies in the business services and life sciences sectors. BVP II closed on $70 million in 2000, while its first fund raised a total of $30 million in 2000.

The firm’s affiliated mid-market buyout group, Baird Capital Partners, closed its fourth fund on $300 million in April 2007.