Charles River closes 14th fund on $320m

The Massachusetts and Silicon Valley-based firm manages about $2.1bn and has returned about $600m to investors in the past two years from IPOs and exits.

Charles River Ventures has closed its fourteenth fund on $320 million, which will be invested in early stage information technology companies and emerging companies focused on energy and intellectual properties.

Charles River closed its thirteenth fund in 2007 on $285 million. The firm, founded in 1970, manages about $2.1 billion.

The firm does not comment on details of fundraising, according to a spokeswoman. The newest fund has many returning investors, including universities, public pensions and non-profits, the firm said. Investors in its previous funds include the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System, Singapore-based EnGro Corporation Limited, Cornell University, Harvard, the University of Notre Dame, Plymouth County Retirement System and FLAG Capital Management.

In the past two years, the Waltham, Massachusetts- and Silicon Valley-based firm has returned $600 million to investors through the IPOs of BigBand Networks, data warehouser Netezza and IT consultant Virtusa and various mergers and exits, including the exit of data storage software provider EqualLogic to Dell, Acopia Networks to F5 Networks, research firm Compete to London-based market researcher TNS and the merger of ethanol companies Celunol with Diversa to form Verenium.

Charles River was founded with entrepreneurs operating in the data communications and software and services sector.