Venture veterans launch Shasta Ventures

Three venture capitalists, combining talent from NEA, Trinity Ventures and Battery Ventures, have teamed up to back early-stage tech businesses.

Three Silicon Valley venture capitalists have joined together and officially launched Menlo Park, California-based Shasta Ventures.

The new venture capital firm will focus on the Western United States and will make early-stage investments in infrastructure, software, and technology-enabled services companies targeting the business and consumer markets. Shasta’s three founding managing directors are Robert Coneybeer, who spent eight years investing in infrastructure companies at New Enterprise Associates; Ravi Mohan, who has eight years’ experience investing in software and technology-enable service companies at Battery Ventures; and Tod Francis, who brings 10 years’ experience focusing on technology-enabled consumer and business service companies at Trinity Ventures.

“We’ve known each other for many years and share common views about the type of firm we want to be,” Francis said.

Though many venture capital firms have kept their early-stage technology investing at low levels in the aftermath of the tech crash, Francis said his firm thinks this is a good time to be investing in these businesses because of all the new users, new business models and new services entering the market.

Shasta’s launch follows April’s announcement that Redwood City, California-based newcomer Garnett & Helfrich Capital successfully raised a $250 million debut ‘venture buyout’ vehicle to focus on buying out underperforming and non-core businesses, product lines, and divisions from public companies in the communications, Internet, media, semiconductor and software sectors. The fact that the fund attracted an all-star roster of limited partners – including lead investor Harvard Management Company – may mean that institutional investors haven’t completely shut down their interest in the venture capital technology markets.