Syncom closes fifth media fund on $275m

Syncom, a US venture firm that typically targets African American- and Hispanic-owned media and communications companies, has garnered $275 million from influential limited partners for its fifth fund.

US venture firm Syncom Venture Partners has obtained commitments in excess of $275 million (€193 million) for its fifth fund focussed on early stage media and communications companies.

As with previous funds, Syncom Venture Partners V will target “emerging domestic markets”, typically early stage media and communications companies catering to or owned by Hispanics and African Americans, said Robert Greene, principal at Syncom.

“We continue to focus on underserved segments of the [US] marketplace,” Greene told PEO.

The fund was marketed for roughly two years by Los Angeles placement agent Wetherly Capital, and received commitments from a heavy-hitting list of limited partners including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the California State Teachers' Retirement System, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase and Banc of America. Fairview Capital, Centinela Capital, Aldus Equity and the states of Connecticut and New York, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Detroit, are also among the fund’s investors.

We continue to focus on underserved segments of the [US] population.

Robert Greene

SVP V held a first close on $167 million 12 months ago, and has made two investments to date: it will invest up to $25 million across various stages to V-me Media, which distributes Spanish language television content, and the fund has also agreed to invest up to $10 million in TrueNorth Global, a company with products including a weather forecasting product for maritime use.

Greene said the deals are representatives of the fund’s overall strategy, which is to opportunistically invest $10 million to $25 million in a company over a 24 month period, with the primary focus on minority-owned businesses. Its prior funds – the most recent of which closed on $135 million in 2000 – have backed companies including television stations BET; WorldSpace; which broadcasts to Africa and Asia; Z Spanish Radio; and Iridium Satellite.

The firm was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.