Boston VC Fundraising News: OpenView, CRV, Material Impact

[Updated 5/14/18, 2:25 pm. See below.] Boston-area venture capitalists are stocking up on cash to invest in more startups. Here is the latest fundraising news:

OpenView Venture Partners appears to have raised nearly $297 million for its fifth fund, according to a new SEC filing. That exceeded the $250 million target OpenView disclosed in a regulatory document last year.

An OpenView spokeswoman declined to comment. [Response added.—Eds]

Founded in 2006, OpenView primarily invests in tech companies that have hit the “expansion stage”—mid-stage ventures looking to significantly ramp up their sales. The firm’s current portfolio companies include WeWork, Cogito, Logz.io, and Lessonly. Its exits include ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5 billion in 2013) and Instructure (NYSE: INST) (went public in 2015).

OpenView’s last fund was a pool of $250 million raised in 2014.

—Meanwhile, CRV announced a $600 million fund last week. The new investment vehicle is the 17th for the 48-year-old venture capital firm, which has offices in Cambridge, MA, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The latest fund is a bit of a departure for CRV, formerly known as Charles River Ventures. The firm, which historically has focused on consumer tech and enterprise software, is starting to invest in bioengineering companies, which CRV describes as “the intersection between healthcare and computer science, machine learning, and machine vision.”

CRV is also expanding beyond its early-stage focus and will invest in more mature “growth-stage” companies.

“Over the last 10 years, the landscape for VC investing has changed considerably,” CRV said in a blog post announcing the new fund. “Winner-take-all and winner-take-most economies have made the size of outcomes much larger than it was 20 years ago. And with these outsized outcomes, the entry point for VC investing has become more fluid.”

Up to $150 million of the new $600 million pot could be deployed in later-stage investments, Axios and the Boston Business Journal reported. That could include follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies and bets on companies CRV hasn’t previously backed, the firm said in the blog post.

CRV initially intended to launch a separate growth-equity fund, but the firm said it decided that would be too complicated and might confuse entrepreneurs.

CRV’s investments include Twitter, Zendesk, Cybereason, Drift, and Jibo.

—Lastly, Material Impact is raising $100 million for its first fund, which it anticipates closing this summer, the Boston Globe reported.

The Boston-based venture firm is led by co-founders and managing partners Carmichael Roberts, an entrepreneur and former partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, and Adam Sharkawy, a former executive at life sciences companies Abbott and The Medicines Company.

Material Impact invests in early-stage materials science companies. So far, it has backed three companies: Soft Robotics, Zero Mass Water, and Amastan Technologies, according to its website.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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