Deal round-up 19/04

Money from Merlin Bioscience, Citigroup, Verus and 3i; initial close from Vertex.

Vertex makes initial close

Vertex Management Israel has made an initial close of $106m for its new fund, the third it will run in Israel.

The fund has a target of more than $150m.

The investment firm's second Israel fund raised $150m.

Vertex Management Israel is part of the Vertex Group.

Merlin Biosciences leads E30.6m round for Graffinity

Merlin Biosciences has led an E30.6m financing round in Graffinity Pharmaceutical Design, a genomics company in Heidelberg.

It was Merlin’s first investment in the company. Other new investors included Dow Chemical, GIMV, and Oxford Biosciences Partners.

All Graffinity’s past investors also contributed. They include 3i Group, Heidelberg Innovation, TechnoStart, and Technologie-Beteiligungs-Gesellschaft der Deutschen Ausgleichsbank.

Graffinity plans to use the money to enter new markets and develop its technology.

Citigroup and Verus invest $13.5m in AirMedia

Citigroup Investments and Verus International have invested $13.5m in AirMedia, a mobile marketing firm.

The finance brings AirMedia’s funding total to $38.5m in the last two years.

AirMedia provides mobile internet marketing services. It says the money will go toward expansion into new European markets, including France, Italy and Spain.

3i leads E7.6m round for Miotec

3i’s Finnish team has led a E7.6m funding of Miotec, a firm specialising in information security products.

Other investors included Elake-Fennia and Garantia, both insurance companies; Merita Pankki, a bank; and Finnvera, a development fund.

Miotec makes chip cards, card operating systems and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) products. Its main customers are telecoms, banks and firms with loyalty programmes.

Miotec had a turnover of E6.9m last year, more than half of which came from exports. The company was created in 1992.

3i Finland was established in 1991 and has invested in over 100 companies.