VC Len Jordan Joins Madrona, Says Frazier Technology Ventures Won’t Raise Another Fund

11/5/09Follow @gthuang

Len Jordan, a general partner at Seattle-based Frazier Technology Ventures, will be joining Madrona Venture Group, also based in Seattle, as of January 1, 2010. Jordan will start at Madrona as a venture partner, the firm announced today, and will identify and lead new investments across technology areas like software, mobile, and Internet, as well as helping coach entrepreneurs and existing portfolio companies.

The other half of the story is that Frazier Technology Ventures will not be making any more investments beyond follow-on rounds for its existing portfolio companies. “We aren’t making new investments, and we’re not raising another fund. Earlier this year, we made that decision,” Jordan says.

Jordan joined Frazier in 2003 after a distinguished career at RealNetworks, where he was a senior vice president in charge of media systems, and also worked on products in mobile and gaming. Before that, he spent a number of years in the software business at two companies in Oregon—Creative Multimedia and Central Point Software (both were acquired). Jordan currently represents Frazier on the boards of Control4, DS-IQ, Medio, and Wetpaint, and will continue his duties with those companies.

“We’ve known Len for a long time, back to his RealNetworks days,” says Matt McIlwain, a managing director at Madrona. “It’s a clear fit from a culture perspective and an investment perspective…He’s a very experienced and seasoned venture capitalist. He’ll make decisions while functioning in a partner capacity.”

It sounds like Jordan’s skills and relationships are pretty complementary tofit well with the existing Madrona team. “We really like the fact that Len has significant operating experience,” McIlwain says.

Jordan concurs, “What I can add is early-stage operating background. This is a team sport.” He says he wants to “be able to sprinkle any help” where it is needed in Madrona’s portfolio. “There are a lot of relationships I have that may be complementary to Madrona on the deal flow side,” he says. “I have deep relationships with BestBuy, T-Mobile, Verizon, HP. In terms of deal sourcing, I’ve found this is a very person-to-person business.”

I asked Jordan more about the future of Frazier Technology Ventures. “The current fund is in the fifth year of a 10-year cycle. You won’t see any changes in the foreseeable future,” he says. He adds that FTV has 11 active portfolio companies. “The irony is the portfolio will actually do quite well,” he says. “Frazier has a great portfolio, but we’re also a relatively new group. In a regular fundraising environment, you’d probably be fine.” (Frazier Healthcare Ventures remains a separate family of funds, as always.)

Meanwhile, Madrona has continued to strengthen its team recently. In August, the firm added former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews as a managing director, bringing in more expertise in digital advertising, marketing, and media. The addition of Jordan helps the firm more on the software and operational side. “What really excites us about Len is he’s a strategic thinker who has experience both in the technology side of companies and in having a board member view,” McIlwain says. “The highest and best use for Len is looking to develop investment themes, meeting with companies, and making a couple of new investments.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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