USVP names GP as it nears fund closing

Menlo Park venture investor US Venture Partners has hired Chris Rust as general partner as the firm readies to close its ninth fund this week on $600m.

Early-stage venture capital veteran US Venture Partners has announced the hire of Chris Rust as a general partner.

Rust will focus on investments on semiconductor, software, systems and subsystems start-ups targeting consumer and networking applications. Prior to USVP, Rust was the president, chief executive officer and co-founder of Mahi Networks for three years, and before that, had spent four years at venture giant Sequoia Capital, including two years as a partner.

The new-hire announcement comes right as Menlo Park, California-based USVP prepares to close its ninth fund this week on $600 million (€473 million). Since the firm’s inception in 1981, it has invested more than $1.1 billion in 271 companies.

USVP will become yet another successful venture firm to close a follow-on fund in an every-growing fundraising market. InterWest Partners IX garnered $600 million and closed in September, and Benchmark’s Europe II, a $375 million fund, closed the same month as well.

According to a report issued by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and private equity data provider Thomson Venture Economics, US venture capital fundraising in the third quarter reached $5.5 billion (€4.3 billion), a more than 78 percent increase over the previous quarter. Follow-on venture funds continued to be the trend, the report states.

However, despite the strong level of interest shown in venture capital by institutional investors, NVCA president Mark Heesen in that statement warned firms to “exercise discipline and stay within the parameters of their fundraising targets so that those returns can continue.  If the industry begins to take more money than can be invested successfully, performance will suffer.”