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Wellington Partners closes third venture fund

The Munich-based VC firm’s latest fund has received €150 million of commitments from investors in Europe, the US and central Asia.

Wellington Partners Venture Capital, the Munich-based early stage investor has held a €150 million ($183 million) final close on its latest fund.
 
The fund, which held an €85 million first close in December, is smaller than the firm’s previous vehicle, Wellington II, which closed on €210 million in June 2000. 

Rolf Christof Dienst, founding partner, Wellington Partners Venture Capital

Rolf Christof Dienst, a founding partner with Wellington, told PEO that this was because the firm has decided to separate its technology and life sciences activities and is also planning to raise a dedicated €100 million life sciences fund.
 
Wellington Partners III Technology Fund will invest in A and B funding rounds of around 20 European companies operating in sectors including Internet security and enterprise software.
 
Investors in Wellington III include AlpInvest Partners, New York’s Access Capital Inc, National Innovation Fund of Kazakhstan and Swiss Re. MVision Private Equity Advisers acted as placement agent for the fund.

German investors entered the private equity game rather late, in 1999 or 2000, so for five years have only seen a downtrend

Rolf Christof Dienst, founding partner, Wellington Partners Venture Capital

Dienst said that the firm had initially had some difficulty attracting domestic investors. “German investors entered the private equity game rather late, in 1999 or 2000, so for five years have only seen a downtrend,” he said. “Having burnt their fingers, they’re being very careful before they go back.”
 
The fund ultimately received commitments from six German groups including fund of funds von Braun & Schreiber and insurer Württembergische Versicherungen.
 
Dienst said that fund III would follow the firm’s established business model of expanding companies quickly into the US market and always partnering with at least one other firm to leverage external expertise.
 
The fund made its first investment in April 2005 when it joined Elaia Partners of Paris, Tokyo’s NTT Lease and ABN AMRO Capital in a €6.5 million funding round of French software company NexWave.
 
In February, Wellington brought Silicon Valley veteran Eric Archambeau on board as a new general partner.