The Silicon Valley beat goes on, with venture fund after venture fund raising more money to pump into high-tech start-ups. The latest is Canaan Partners, which announces today a $450 million fund (see extended entry for release). Notable here is how a mere principal at the firm, Brent Ahrens, sourced both of Canaan’s recent significant deals. First was Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, which Johnson & Johnson agreed last month to acquire for about $245 million. Next was Dextom, which last month went public. Credit goes to Canaan, who let Ahrens in the door first as a Kauffman fellow, then hired him as a principal, and let him take board seats on his investments early on. As general partner John Balen puts it: “You can’t learn to ride a bike unless you get on the bike.” And of course, Canaan has promoted Ahrens to general partner.
Canaan Partners Closes $450 Million Canaan VII Fund
Maha Ibrahim and Brent Ahrens Appointed General Partners
MENLO PARK, Calif. ï¿½ May 3, 2005 – Canaan Partners, an early-stage investor and creator of next-generation companies in technology and healthcare, today announced the closing of Canaan VII. The fund will invest in Internet infrastructure, communications, software and services, medical devices, biological sciences, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. The closing of Canaan VII brings Canaan Partners capital under management to $2.2 billion.
Canaan also announced today the promotions of two general partners at the firm, Brent Ahrens and Maha Ibrahim. Mr. Ahrens and Ms. Ibrahim will join other general partners in Fund VII: John Balen, James Furnivall, Deepak Kamra, Gregory Kopkinsky, Seth Rudnick, Guy Russo, and Eric Young.
“We had extremely strong interest in the fund, and we were impressed with our high caliber of investors,” said John Balen, general partner at Canaan Partners. ï¿½Notably, we were unable to accept all the capital commitments our investors desired. This keen interest reflects our successful investment strategy and our experience as a partnership investing together since 1987,ï¿½ Balen stated.
About Maha Ibrahim
Maha Ibrahim joined Canaanï¿½s Menlo Park offices in March 2000, with a focus on infrastructure, software and data-communications investments. Ms. Ibrahim sits on the board of directors at Habeas, Mobilitec, Sensage, and Tacit Networks.
During her tenure as vice president of business development at Qwest and as a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group and Price Waterhouse, Ms. Ibrahim developed and honed business development and sales models that she has successfully introduced to her portfolio companies. In addition, Ms. Ibrahim has also actively identified, recruited, and continually developed world-class management teams for her portfolio companies.
About Brent Ahrens
Brent Ahrens focuses on life sciences investments for Canaan, contributing a number of major successes to the firmï¿½s total of 92 liquidity events. In April 2005, one of his investments, Dexcom, concluded an initial public offering (http://www.canaan.com/releases/2005/050414_dexcom.htm). Another Ahrens investment, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, announced an agreement to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson in a cash-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $245 million (http://www.canaan.com/releases/2005/050418_peninsula.htm) in April 2005. In 2004, another of his investments, Revivant, was sold to Zoll Medical Corporation (http://www.zoll.com/PressRelease.asp?nPressReleaseID=138).
Ahrensï¿½ varied and comprehensive technical and clinical experience have enabled him to build portfolio companiesï¿½ clinical, product development, and FDA approval strategies. Ahrens joined Canaan in 1999 through the Kauffman Fellows Program. Prior to joining Canaan, he worked for General Surgical Innovations and Ethicon Endo-Surgery (part of Johnson & Johnson) in a variety of sales, marketing, business development, and technical roles. He is currently on the board of directors of several private companies including Coapt Systems, CoAxia, Novare Surgical, and Transoma Medical.
ï¿½Both Maha and Brent have demonstrated exceptional abilities to spot promising companies and to build them rapidly and effectively,ï¿½ according to Seth Rudnick, general partner at Canaan. ï¿½We are extremely fortunate to have them as part of our team.ï¿½
About Canaan Partners
Canaan Partners is an early-stage investor and creates next-generation companies in Internet infrastructure, communications, software and services, medical devices, biological sciences, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Founded in 1987, the firm has invested in more than 210 companies, completed 52 mergers and acquisitions, and taken 45 companies public. Canaan was an early investor in Dexcom (DXCM), DoubleClick (DCLK), CommerceOne (CMRC), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Esperion (ESPR), Immunicon (IMMC), International Network Services (INSS), and ONI Systems (ONIS), and Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, along with dozens of other market-leading companies. Canaan has offices in Menlo Park, California and Rowayton, Connecticut. For more information visit: www.canaan.com.