Novak Biddle raises fifth fund

The IT venture fund has promoted four to general partner and has added an investment professional to its team.

Novak Biddle Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm focused on technology investments from government labs and universities in the Washington, DC metro area, has closed a $227 million (€178.5 million) fund, Novak Biddle said in a statement.

The fund is the Bethesda, Maryland-based firm’s fifth. Novak Biddle focuses on the education, homeland security and software sectors, the statement said. The firm has begun to invest in other geographic areas, including Israel, Pennsylvania, New York and Washington State.

The firm has promoted investment professionals Philip Bronner, Andrea Kaufman and Tom Scholl as well as chief financial officer Joy Binford to the position of general partner, the statement said.

Bronner joined Novak Biddle in 1999 and focuses on information technology investments. Kaufman also joined the firm in 1999. She focuses on security technologies and enterprise software investments.  Scholl founded and served as chairman of Cognio, a developer of spectrum management and technology for short-range wireless applications before joining the firm in the 1990s. Binford worked for InterCAP Graphics, a producer of technical illustrations, prior to joining Novak Biddle. Janet Yang, formerly of San Francisco-based venture capital firm Draper Richards, has joined the firm as a principal, the statement said.

According to the statement, the fifth fund’s return investors include Common Fund, FLAG Venture Partners, Verizon, ATP Private Equity Partners, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Indiana University, Northern Trust, Notre Dame, Park Street, Silicon Valley Bank, the State Retirement Plans of Virginia and North Carolina, University of California, University of Richmond and Virginia Tech. New investors include Carnegie Mellon University, the Church Pension Fund, Georgetown University, the Hillman Family, Kenyon College, Little Hawk Venture Opportunity Fund, Lumina Foundation, Pantheon Ventures, Princeton University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota and the University of Virginia.

E. Rogers Novak, a former investment banker and entrepreneur, and AGW Biddle, the former CEO of software company InterCAP Graphics Systems, are the co-founders of Novak Biddle. The firm closed its fourth fund, which raised $150 million, in May of 2004.