Venrock closes $600m fund

Venrock, the venture capital firm originally established by the Rockefeller family, has closed a new fund on $600 million and hired David Siminoff as a general partner.

Veteran venture capital firm Venrock has closed a $600 million (€442 million) fund, Venrock V.

The global-focused fund will back entrepreneurs in the technology, healthcare, media and energy sectors.

“Venrock has always focused on people,” said Bryan Roberts, Venrock managing general partner, in a statement. “As a pioneer in healthcare venture capital, we will continue to seek out the most innovative and energetic teams commercializing the best biotech, healthcare IT and medical device ideas in the world.”

Venrock V’s first investment was in Storm Exchange, a company that’s launched an electronic weather exchange allowing firms to determine weather-related risks and seek financial solutions to mitigate them. 

The 38-year old venture firm has also hired a new general partner, David Siminoff.

Siminoff founded and later sold EastNet, a company that enabled television stations in Eastern Europe to trade American TV programs for advertising time from major brands. Before that, he spent nearly a decade in investment research analysis and portfolio management at Capital Research. He also funded and co-founded mobile search service 4INFO, and was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Spark Networks, a provider of on-line personal services. 

At Venrock, Siminoff will focus on media ventures.

Originally founded in 1969 as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family, Venrock has since invested $1.8 billion in 400 companies resulting in more than 120 initial public offerings. Its portfolio companies have included Apple Computer, DoubleClick, and Gilead Sciences.

Most recently, Venrock co-led a venture consortium that invested $12 million in XConnect Global Networks, a service provider to the telecommunications industry.