Panorama Capital closes first independent fund on $240m

The JPMorgan spin-out will target early- to mid-stage companies in life sciences, internet, semiconductors and telecom infrastructure.

Panorama Capital, a San Francisco-based venture firm, has closed its first independent fund on $240 million (€154 million).

Spun out from JPMorgan's venture management division in 2006, Panorama will target life sciences, internet, semiconductors and internet infrastructure and services, investing between $6 million and $8 million over the life of a company. It will primarily target North American investments, with between 10 and 15 percent of the fund deployed abroad.

“Our investment scope is early- to mid-stage, and that separates us from the vast majority of our venture colleagues,” Rod Ferguson, Panorama managing director, told PEO. “We've been investors in this space for a very long time. Same strategy, same team, same focus.”

We're comfortable in all different langauges and cultures across the world, and we like an LP base that reflects that.

Rod Ferguson

Panorama, which still manages JPMorgan's venture business, began shopping for its own limited partners shortly after the spin-out, and held a first close in April 2007 on an undisclosed amount, according to Ferguson. San Francisco-based Probitas Partners placed the fund.

Its limited partners include the Boeing Pension Fund, the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Storebrand, a Norwegian life insurance company. JPMorgan provided the largest fund commitment, according to Ferguson.

“We're an unusually diverse group of people,” Ferguson said. “Of the five founding partners we have, the parents of four of us weren't born in this country. We're comfortable in all different languages and cultures across the world, and we like an LP base that reflects that.”  

The firm has already invested roughly one-third of the fund in six companies, including two life science- and four internet-related businesses. Later this week, it will add a multi-player video game developer to its portfolio.

Other Panorama portfolio companies include Pharmos Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based psychiatric and neurological drug developer, and Axentis, a Cleveland-based software solutions provider for corporate governance.  

Ferguson indicated that the firm is thinking of raising another fund in the second half of 2009, and possibly launching an India-focussed fund sometime in the future.