Longworth Venture Partners Raising Third Fund

Longworth Venture Partners of Waltham, Mass., is raising a third fund, according to a new regulatory filing that suggests the firm is targeting up to $180 million.

Seems likely it will get close to that amount, too. It’s not exceedingly more than the firm’s second fund, which closed with $120 million in 2003. (Longworth’s first fund closed in 1999 with $20.5 million.)

More, the young firm has had a string of exits in recent years. For example, Softricity, a virtualization company that Longworth first backed in ’99, sold in 2006 to Microsoft for an undisclosed amount after raising just more than $60 million. And last fall, Constant Contact, which sells direct marketing email software, went public. Longworth, which was in on its Series A in 1999, owned 9.79 percent of the company on the October day its shares debuted.

As notably, 7 of the 23 startups that Longworth has funded out of its second vehicle have also been acquired already. The majority of the transaction prices haven’t been disclosed, but for what it’s worth, some of the acquirers are heavy hitters, including Broadcom (it purchased Longworth-backed RAIDCore) and Oracle (which bought Thor Technologies) and Microsoft (last year, it purchased instant messaging company Parlano, which had raised $22.3 million from Longworth, Golden Gate Capital, and Oak Investment Partners).

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