Avalon Ventures Raises $201 Million Toward New VC Fund

Published: Aug 31, 2012

Boston Business Journal by Kyle Alspach, VC Editor

Avalon Ventures, a Cambridge- and California-based venture capital firm whose portfolio includes Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA), has raised $201.6 million toward its 10th venture capital fund, according to a federal filing Thursday.

The firm wrote in the filing that it may raise up to $250 million in total for the new fund. Avalon has targeted $200 million for the fund, the same size as its current fund, with a cap at $250 million.

The successful fundraise for Avalon comes even as its most prominent investment, Zynga, continues to disappoint as a public company. Shares in the company currently stand at $2.89, down from the IPO price of $10 last December.

Zynga filings give no indication that Avalon has sold its stake in the company since the IPO, unlike VCs such as Union Square Ventures and Institutional Partners. That puts Avalon's shares at about $100 in value, compared to the $416 million they were worth after the IPO.

It remains a superb return for Avalon, however, which invested $4.5 million into Zynga in 2008 and sold shares worth $20.9 million prior to the IPO.

Other recent exits have included Amira Pharmaceuticals, BioVex Group, Cloudkick, Pictela and Ortiva Wireless, according to PE Hub.

Avalon's current portfolio includes a number of Boston area startups, including fast-growing tech firms Nanigans, Kinvey, Backupify and Cloudant.

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