UTEC holds $40m first close

The University of Tokyo Edge Capital aims to raise between up to $120m for its second fund by the end of 2009.

Technology-focused seed and early stage venture firm University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) has raised about $40 million for UTEC Investment Limited Partnership No. 2, its second fund.

The firm is targeting commitments of between $100 million and $120 million for the fund's final close by the end of the year, Tomotaka Goji, managing partner of UTEC, said in an interview. Limited partners in the fund include only domestic institutional investors including banks, insurance companies, real estate companies and investment companies, Goji said.

“The fund will focus on seed and early stage investing in technology-based, innovative companies coming out of universities and research institutes,” Goji said, adding that the firm has partnerships with Japanese universities including the University of Tokyo, providing the firm with proprietary and first access to research emanating from these universities.

The firm’s predecessor fund closed on $83 million in December 2004. That fund has since invested in 34 companies and is now almost fully deployed, Goji said. The fund has made five exits thus far, one through a merger and another four through IPOs.

The fund’s most recent exit was that of Tella, a bio-tech venture which provides immunology cancer therapy for patients, which went public in March 2009. The venture is based on research from The Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo.

UTEC was established in 2004.