InterWest closes $650m venture fund

The information technology- and life sciences- focused venture capital firm has closed its 10th fund, with the goal of investing in approximately 60 early-stage US companies.

InterWest Partners, a Menlo Park, California- and Dallas, Texas-based venture capital firm, has closed its 10th fund on $650 million (€435 million).

Returning limited partners make up a majority of the investor base in addition to a several new investors. Among the limited partners are the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System and new LP the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, according to documents from the US pensions.

The fund, which has already begun investing, will target early-stage US companies in the life sciences and information technology sectors with a handful of investments in later-stage opportunities. InterWest will make approximately 25 to 30 investments in each sector over the life of the fund.

IT investments will focus on the software, computing and communications and semiconductor sub-sectors. The firm is also looking to emerging areas in IT including software as a service, consumer internet, online advertising and mobility.

Within life sciences, InterWest will continue to invest in the core therapeutic areas of cardiology, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, neurology and orthopedics. The firm has specific expertise investing in pain management and neuromodulation, the process by which certain neurotransmitters regulate neurons. New initiatives for InterWest in life sciences are consumer-driven healthcare, drug-device convergence and personalised medicine.

InterWest’s previous fund closed on $600 million in late 2004 and its eighth on $750 million in 2000.

The firm has also promoted three executives to general partner, bringing its total number to 10. Chris Ehlich and Nina Kjellson were promoted within the life sciences team and Doug Pepper in the IT team.

In July, InterWest participated in an $84 million funding round for medical device developer CVRx and led a $14.5 million funding round for semiconductor company NexPlanar.