Viventures scales back E638m technology fund

The global venture firm has become the latest early stage investor to release limited partners from part of their commitments.

Viventures Partners, the global technology investment firm, has confirmed that limited partners in Viventures 2 are to be released of E138m of commitments to the fund. The move reduces the size of the fund to E500m.

The firm, set up and sponsored by Vivendi Universal in 1998 as a vehicle to generate capital gain for the media group, is the latest venture capital manager to return capital to investors. In Europe, Benchmark Capital and Atlas Venture have both taken similar decisions, while firms in the US to have scaled back venture funds include Accel Partners, Redpoint, Kleiner Perkins and Mohr Davidow.

Viventures 2 closed in June 2001 with commitments from over 30 limited partners in the US, Europe and Asia. Investors in the fund include Goldman Sachs, DLJ, SG Asset Management, Siemens Venture Capital, British Telecom, Cisco Systems and Mannesmann. To date some 15 per cent of the fund's capital have been invested.

Viventures Partners is understood to have actively approached limited partners to discuss plans to reduce the size of the fund in a move welcomed by investors. Said a source familiar with the situation: 'When you realise that the original assumption of deals averaging between E20m and E25m in size is no longer realistic, you’ve got a choice: you either double your workforce, or you talk to your LPs about scaling back the fund.' Viventures is now aiming to invest between E15m and E20m per deal, the source added.

Viventures Partners actively invests in three continents and has offices in Paris, London, San Francisco and Singapore. The firm is focussed on investing in telecom and datacom infrastructure, optical components and systems, application software and enabling technologies for wireless and Internet infrastructure.