San Diego’s Avalon Ventures Closes Ninth Fund, Raises $200 M

Xconomy San Diego — 

When Avalon Ventures began fund-raising for its ninth venture fund back in May, the San Diego VC firm said it was targeting $150 million. Today Avalon plans to announce that it has closed capital commitments of $200 million for its ninth and largest fund.

Founder Kevin Kinsella says Avalon Ventures IX was more than 33 percent oversubscribed, and all of the institutional investors in Avalon’s two previous funds returned to make commitments to the newest fund. “We’re pretty happy with that,” he told me by phone.

Kinsella, who founded Avalon in San Diego in 1983, says the firm will continue to invest in early stage companies in two general areas, life sciences and digital media, primarily along the West Coast (San Diego, the Bay Area, and Seattle) and the Northeast Corridor. Avalon also added two partners for its latest fund. At its office in La Jolla, Avalon CFO Doug Downs is joining Kinsella, Stephen Tomlin, and Jay Lichter as a general partner. In Cambridge, MA, Brady Bohrmann, who was a venture partner in Avalon’s eighth fund, is joining Rich Levandov as a general partner.

Kinsella initially had expected that Avalon would close its latest fund in a few weeks. Instead it took more than six months, as the firm got a stronger-than-expected response. But Avalon already has made six investments out of its newest fund. So far, they are:

Aratana Therapeutics, a newly formed company in suburban Kansas City with several late stage development programs to treat common maladies of domestic dogs and cats. Aratana said Friday that it closed on $20 million in Series A funding led … Next Page »

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