Atlas Venture Closes New Fund with $283M, Does the Staffing Shuffle

Boston- and London-based Atlas Venture announced today that it has closed its eighth fund with $283 million committed by existing limited partners Kisco Management, The Kresge Foundation, Paul Capital, and others, and new limited partners such as Franklin Park, Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S, and Meketa Investment Group. The fund’s first investment was in Waltham, MA-based CloudSwitch, a stealthy cloud-computing startup about which Bob wrote last week.

Atlas also announced that it has promoted Bruce Booth, a director of Ivrea and Zafgen and chairman and co-founder of Miragen, to partner in the venture firm’s life sciences group. But, according to peHUB’s Dan Primack, who got more detail from Atlas partner Jeff Fagnan, there’s some additional personnel “restructuring” afoot as well. This includes the departure of IT partners Ahmet Ozalp and Martin Gibson from the Boston and London offices, respectively; the transitioning of Boston IT partners Eric Hjerpe and Barry Fidelman into venture partner roles, and the retirement of chief operating officer Jeanne Henry.

Primack notes that the personnel changes come after Atlas closed its new fund well below its target, which started at $500 million and was quickly adjusted to $400 million before Atlas decided to wrap it up at $283 million given the very tough fund-raising climate. Indeed, Atlas partner Jean-Francois Formela had a sanguine spin. “The new fund is the right size for our early-stage focus and organizational structure,” he said in an announcement. “We feel fortunate to have a fresh pool of capital to invest at a time when we see steady innovation coupled with a return to capital efficiency. This is a good environment in which to fund new companies.”

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