Deals

Early-stage VC firm Alsop Louie closes second fund at $98.6M

Early stage venture firm Alsop Louie Partners confirmed to VentureBeat Friday that it has closed its second fund with $98.6 million and added three new partners.

The firm named its new partners as Cassatt Corporation founder and BEA Systems’ exec Bill Coleman; former TechFund Capital partner Jim Whims; and Joe Addiego, most recently a partner at In-Q-Tel (the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency).

Alsop Louie co-founder Gilman Louie (pictured, right) was formerly chief executive officer of In-Q-Tel before branching out to found the VC firm five years ago.

The story was first reported by peHUB, which broke the news about the fund.

San Francisco-based Alsop Louie previously closed a $75 million fund in 2006. In August 2008 it began raising its second fund, for which it held its first close for $20 million in December 2009.

Co-founder Stewart Alsop (pictured, left) said that the group has already made seven new investments from the second fund, only two of which he would name: San Francisco-based Framehawk, which develops technology to link desktop applications to mobile devices; and Next Big Sound, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup that follows how popular musicians are in both in their target areas and online.

Alsop Louie was in the news earlier this summer when online media company Sportgenic—an early investment for the group— was acquired in June by Glam Media.

Thus far, the company has made 15 investments from its first fund covering a wide spectrum of startups. It had its biggest success to date with telephone software shop Ribbit, which British Telecom bought for $105 million in 2008. Ribbit had been successful in snagging $13 million in two rounds from Alsop Louie, Peninsula Ventures, KPG Ventures and Allegis Capital.

Not all of its investments have been as lucky, however. Alsop told peHUB that the portfolio’s rough patches had more to do with the credit crisis than any intrinsic problems within the companies it chose.

One notable collapse was Cake Financial, a social web service for sharing stock portfolios, who was sold off to eTrade for rock bottom prices in January. Cake had originally seen first round financing of almost $1.3 million from the Alsop Louie, KPG and Bay Partners at a time when the startup was valued at almost $7 million.

The lack of VC funding was widespread throughout the global credit crisis and affected nearly every member of the early round financing community, said Alsop.

“We told every entrepreneur we talked to [in 2009] that we didn’t have fresh capital. Most VCs like to hide that fact, but we were really up front about it and it didn’t hurt us,” Alsop said in the interview. “We had tremendous deal flow and we helped [entrepreneurs] find investors because we fundamentally believe in helping them and that the smallest piece of value we add is money.”

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