Avalon closes eighth VC fund on $150m

The San Diego-based venture firm has more than doubled the size of its previous fund, as well as its team, thanks in part to returning LPs like Harvard, AlpInvest and Paul Capital.

Avalon Ventures has closed its eighth fund on $150 million (€102 million), hitting its target and more than doubling the size of its predecessor fund, which closed on $75 million in 2005.

The San Diego-based firm said the vehicle’s limited partners include many “key” investors from Fund VII, including Harvard Management Company, AlpInvest Partners, Paul Capital and Grove Street Advisors.

Fund VIII will likely make 20 to 24 investments and continue Avalon’s strategy of backing companies in the biotech, wireless communications and online media applications sectors.

 “The technology and investment environments are ripe for the Avalon model, which is to start new companies and finance them through key value inflection points,” Stephen Tomlin, Avalon managing director, said in a statement.

In addition to Tomlin and founder Kevin Kinsella, the 25-year old venture firm has also hired two new managing directors, Richard Levandov and Jay Lichter.


Levandov joined Avalon last year to establish its East Coast presence; in addition to having experience as a tech entrepreneur and angel investor, Levandov joined Masthead Venture Partners in 2003 to co-found a $160 million early stage fund and was a founding affiliate partner of SoftBank Capital’s first venture fund in 1996.

Jay Lichter

Lichter is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical executive who was previously an Avalon partner; he was the first employee and co-founder of Avalon V portfolio company Sequana Therapeutics.