Prism closes fifth fund, co-founder retires

Massachusetts venture firm raised $250 million for technology and life sciences investments, as co-founder Duane Mason announces his retirement.

Massachusetts venture capital firm Prism Venture Partners announced yesterday it has closed its fifth fund with $250 million in final commitments. 

The fund, Prism Venture Partners V, LP, brings total capital under management to approximately $1.25 billion (€1.03 billion).

“We are very excited to begin investing PVP V, as we believe it’s the right size, supported by the right investment strategy and backed by the right team to drive value to our investors,” said Bob Fleming, a Prism general partner, in a statement.

Prism has a diversified strategy, with investments in the technology and life sciences markets.  Prism’s technology investment team focuses on the mobile, wireless, telecommunications and semiconductor markets.  In the life sciences field, the firm makes investments in medical devices and specialty pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.

Effective with the closing of Prism V, is the retirement of co-founder and general partner Duane Mason, who has served as CEO of four venture-backed companies in the medical technology and service industries.  Prior to co-founding Prism, Mason served as CEO of Delsys Pharmaceutical Corporation, an innovator of dry-powder drug delivery technology.  Mason also founded Innovative Medical Optics Surgical Products and launched Health and Care Products, specializing in ophthalmic accessory products.

Prism also announced it has made its first investment from the new fund in Boston-based Everypoint.  The start-up company is a provider of real-time content for mobile phones, meaning a customer receives information as it comes out over his cell phone.

“As we evolve from this early stage environment, we know Prism is well-matched to help build our company to its greatest potential,” said Evan Schumacher, CEO of  Everypoint, in a statement.

Coinciding with the closing of Prism V, was the promotion of Mark Canha to principal.  Mark originally joined the firm in January 2005 as a venture partner, and he still serves as the director of Bitfone Corporation. Before joining Prism, he was the President of broadband services from Broadwing.

Prism was founded in 1996 in Westwood, Massachusetts.  The remaining founders at the firm are Bob Fleming and John Brooks.