Update: I regret writing this article. PEHub reported that Maven has gone “kaput,” and I cited that report. But it’s not true, and it’s also not true that Maven has given up fundraising. Jennifer Gill Roberts called to tell me her firm continues to invest in companies and will have more news at the end of the quarter. PEHub based its report partially on the fact that Maven’s phone number was directed to her own personal phone, but that’s apparently because she’s looking for office space after a contract on her previous space ran out. Maven retains its office in Houston.
The merry-go-round at some of Silicon Valley’s troubled venture capital firms continues. First up, the firm started by Jack Gill, a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and his daughter, Jennifer Gill Roberts,
has reportedly given up continues its fund-raising efforts.
The firm, Maven Venture Partners, had planned to focus on mobile technology investments, and was launched by Jennifer and another partner after her former firm Sevin Rosen began to go adrift (as reported, it has since fallen apart). Maven was a risky endeavor from the beginning, though, because new venture capital firms are having a tough time in this crowded market (see our coverage of the firm when it first emerged). We’ve tried to reach both Jack and Jennifer to confirm the news, but haven’t yet heard back. PE Week reported the company had gone “kaput.” [Update: Jennifer Gill Roberts has just responded in an email, saying: “We closed a modest fund, made a couple seed investments last year and will make a few more substantial investments in Q1. We’d be happy to give you a fuller update at the end of Q108.”]
Marc Friend, who left Maven very early on, has since shown up at Partech International as a venture partner. As of this writing, Friend was on a trip to Boston, and couldn’t be reached.
The firm had been trying to raise a $150 million fund; we’re not certain it ever managed to do so.
Meanwhile, the firm Jack Gill had founded decades before, Vanguard, has struggled. Gill has since left, but under the helm of remaining partner Dan Eilers, Vanguard gave up trying to raise another fund until it can show some profits from its earlier investments. Eilers tells us the firm the firm may try to raise a fund if progress is made on that front.
Finally, Crescendo Ventures, another firm with its back against the wall after years of poor performance, has seen partner Jeff Tollefson leave. Whether the firm will be able to raise another fund is also open to question, though leading partner David Spreng is still holding out hope.
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