Longitude Capital closes debut venture fund on $325m

The first of two Pequot Capital venture spin-outs has surpassed its initial fundraising target of $250m.

Pequot Capital spin-out Longitude Capital has closed its first independently raised venture fund on $325 million (€208 million).

The Greenwich, Connecticut and Silicon Valley-based firm surpassed its original target of $250 million and will focus on investments in the life sciences arena.

The fund, launched in April of last year, will favour early stage medical device companies and late-stage biotech opportunities, but will also be deployed towards recapitalisations and spin-outs when appropriate.

“We might have a new name but we’re certainly not a new fund in terms of experience,” Juliet Bakker, Longitude managing director and co-founder, told PEO.

Bakker said that the debut fund’s investor base consisted primarily of US-based limited partners, as well as a few offshore investors. Limited partners were evenly split between public pension funds, corporate pension funds, endowments, and sovereign entities, and fund of funds.  

The firm was co-founded in 2006 by the six-member biotech unit of hedge fund manager Pequot Capital’s former venture arm, Pequot Ventures. In March, the remaining members of Pequot Ventures spun-out from its parent and reformed as First Mark Capital.

Asked if Longitude’s investment strategy will differ at all from when the unit worked for Pequot, Bakker said, “It’s going to be exactly the same. Same strategy, same team, same amount of capital we have to invest. It’s just a different name, new outfit.”

Longitude’s current portfolio includes Amarin, a Dublin-based biopharmaceutical company specialising in cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases, and Corcept Therapeutics, a listed Menlo Park, California-based developer of psychiatric and metabolic drugs.

The firm, led by managing directors Bakker, Patrick Enright and Marc-Henri Galleti, typically invests between $10 and $30 million over the life of its portfolio companies, usually co-leading financing rounds.

UBS Securities acted as exclusive placement agent for the fund.