Globespan closes fund on $285m

The Boston- and Palo Alto-based venture capital firm closes its Fund IV with significant commitments from European and Japanese investors.

Boston- and Palo Alto-based venture capital firm Globespan Capital Partners announced the close of Globespan Capital Partners IV on $285 million (€230.6 million), surpassing an original $250 million (€201.4 million) target.

 

Globespan Capital started fundraising in January 2003 following its spinout from publicly traded Japanese venture capital firm JAFCO Ventures. The closing of the fund will bring the information technology investment specialist to more than $700 million under management, including the $425 million JAFCO America Technology Fund Series III.

 

Some of the Fund IV’s investors include state and corporate pension funds, university endowments, funds of funds, international pension funds from Europe and other regions, and leading Japanese companies such as Itochu, Mitsui, NTT Lease, Nippon Venture Capital and Toyota Tsusho. According to executive managing director Andy Goldfarb, the new fund’s limited partners are split about equally between Europe, Asia and the US.

Goldfarb said that despite the tough fundraising environment, the firm was able to attract a significant amount of capital in excess of $285 million, but chose the limit the size of the fund in order to better deploy its broad-sector investment strategy. Although Globespan Capital invests exclusively in US-based companies, the firm maintains a Tokyo-based business development office, which it uses to grant portfolio companies more exposure to Japanese and Southeast Asian technology companies.

The investment team of Globespan Capital Partners has invested in more than 90 companies since 1996. The first two funds were raised by JAFCO and invested by that team. Fund III was co-raised by Globespan Capital and JAFCO, and in January 2003, the group of managers launched its own independent entity, though it still oversees the portfolio companies of Fund I and II for JAFCO. JAFCO remains a large investor in Globespan Capital funds.

Globespan Capital invests in companies in the software, Internet infrastructure, communications and systems & peripherals sectors with a typical investment ranging from $6 to $8 million. The new fund has already committed capital to a number of companies, including Sorrent, a wireless gaming company, and Plaxo, which provides online contact-management for computer address books.