Polaris Venture Partners Captures $233M of $400M Fund

6/14/10

Polaris Venture Partners, a $3 billion-plus venture firm, has found more capital to back technology and life sciences firms. The Waltham, MA-based venture firm has closed on $233.8 million of a planned $400 million for its Polaris Venture Partners VI LP fund, according to an SEC filing.

When people talk about the leading venture funds, Polaris Venture Partners usually finds its way onto their short lists. Terry McGuire, a co-founder and general partner of the firm, recently finished a term as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association. Under the leadership of McGuire and others at Polaris, the firm has racked up some wins over the past decade with its investments in such companies as Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY), Cambridge-based Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM), and the Lebanon, NH-based biotech GlycoFi (now part of Merck & Co.)

However, Polaris appears to have pared down the target for its latest fund from a previously reported $500 million to $400 million, VentureWire reported. Polaris, which also has an office in Seattle, raised $1 billion for its last fund in 2006. McGuire declined to comment on the new fund this morning.

Yet small, focused funds appear to be a way forward for venture firms, which struggled to deliver returns to investors over the past decade. Polaris has also looked to build stronger ties with the startup community through its Dogpatch Labs. Dogpatch provides early-stage entrepreneurs with cheap office space and access to a network of investors and other startups. Polaris launched the program in San Francisco in 2007 and expanded it to Cambridge and New York City last year.

Wade, who leads Xconomy’s tech coverage in San Francisco, covered the recent growth of Dogpatch’s Cambridge offices in April. At the time, Dogpatch hosted about 100 entrepreneurs at its three locations.

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