Big data draws big money as IA Ventures raises $50M fund

Roger Ehrenberg, a former Wall Street investor,  launched IA Ventures earlier this year to invest in startups that leverage “big data”. Now that big data is attracting big cash from limited partners as the fund has raised $50M, Dan Primack of Fortune reports.

Ehrenberg has been an active New York angel investor for many years, investing in companies like Tweetdeck, Bit.ly, and Buddy Media.

IA Ventures has already made 15 investments, including daily deal aggregator Yipit and pre-launch banking startup Bank Simple. While Ehrenberg was initially raising a $25 million fund from non-traditional sources like prop-trading desks and hedge funds, interest from traditional funding sources like foundations and pension funds caused Ehrenberg to reopen the fund. The fund ended up 50 percent oversubscribed.

Entrepreneurs from IA portfolio companies burnished Roger Ehrenberg’s credentials as a data expert.

“If you’re a startup working on solving a problem with huge data sets, it is irresponsible not to talk to Roger Ehrenberg. “ said Vincius Vacanti, co-founder of daily deal aggregator Yipit.
Vacanti cited a IA Ventures portfolio event with outside data luminaries like Tim O’Reilly, Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, and Bit.ly Chief Scientist Hilary Mason.

“It was amazing,” Vacanti said.

Some industry observers have wondered how seed investors raising bigger funds are going to adjust their investing strategy, Ehrenberg doesn’t believe it will have a significant effect. “Going to $50 million doesn’t change our strategy of seed and early-stage investing in big data,” Ehrenberg told Fortune, “but it does provide us additional capital to “pursue a life-cycle approach to supporting our companies.”