VCs Back DVS Sciences With $14.6M

A group of investors including 5AM Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments, Mohr Davidow, the Roche Venture Fund and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research have put $14.6 million into DVS Sciences Inc. With offices in Ontario and Sunnyvale, Calif., DVS Sciences is a manufacturer of highly multi-parameter single-cell analyzers and reagents for biological research and clinical applications. The company will use the Series A financing to expand its commercial manufacturing efforts.

VirtuOz Nabs $7M

VirtuOz Inc. has raised $7 million in financing from existing backers Mohr Davidow, Inventures Group and Galileo Partners. The money is aimed at fueling growth for VirtuOz, which develops “intelligent virtual agents” for use in online customer service. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company closed an $11.4 million Series B round in 2009.

Paul Cleveland Joins Mohr Davidow

Early stage venture firm Mohr Davidow has added Paul Cleveland as a general partner and as chief operating officer. Cleveland joins from Affymax, a pharmaceutical company, where he was chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate development. In his new role, Cleveland will be responsible for all finance, operations and administrative functions at Mohr Davidow, the firm said in a statement.

Fliqz Investors Take a Bath

Fliqz’s investors took a loss when the California-based plug-and-play video solution provider was sold in a private foreclosure to video streaming company VBrick earlier this month, multiple sources confirmed to peHUB.com. Two sources confirmed the company was sold for less than its three rounds of funding. One of the sources acknowledged the sale process, run […]

Mark Tsimelzon Joins Mohr Davidow Ventures

Mark Tsimelzon has joined Mohr Davidow Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously served as director of engineering for Hadoop and cloud computing at Yahoo, and before that was founder or Coral8 (acquired by Sybase). www.mdv.com

Venture Capitalist Named Navigenics CEO

Vance Vanier has joined personalized genomics company Navigenics as president and CEO. He previously was a partner with Navigenics investor Mohr Davidow Ventures. Navigenics has raised over $25 million in VC funding, from MDV, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital.

VCs Compete Hard For Early-Stage Science Projects

Mohr Davidow this month named four researchers — two from Stanford and two from UC Berkeley — as recipients of a new Innovators Award that the venture firm designed last year. Each researcher will get $50,000, which Mohr Davidow’s partners are taking out of their own fees, to work for a year on a high-risk project. Researchers are picked by senior faculty at their schools and can’t be tenured.

“This program is designed to identify, award and accelerate the early careers of professors we think have high potential for research and commercialization,” said MDV partner Erik Straser.

All four winners — assistant professors Nick Melosh and Thomas Jaramillo at Stanford, UC Berkeley assistant professor Ali Javey, and Delia Milliron, who works at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — are pursuing projects that may have applications to clean tech, including new ways to capture solar energy and make buildings more energy efficient.

One of last year’s winners, assistant professor Yi Cui of Stanford, who specializes in nanotechnology, said he is talking to Mohr Davidow about forming a company

MDV Caps 3 Annex Funds, Raises Total of $127M

Four months of fund-raising helped Mohr Davidow Ventures raise an extra $29.2 million for three annex funds, according to documents filed with the SEC today.

MDV’s effort to raise the annex funds first came to light in August, when it filed SEC documents showing that it had raised a combined $98.1 million in annex funds for its seventh, eighth and ninth core funds. Today’s updated filings show that the grand total increased to $127.3 million.

The fund IX annex fund faired the best from the additional effort. It boosted its total to $72.1 million, up from $45.3 million on Aug. 7. The Dec. 3 filing indicates that’s a final close, as the line for “total remaining to be sold” says zero.

The fund VIII annex fund also got a bit of a boost. It held a final close on $27.9 million, according to the Dec. 3 filing, up from $25.5 in August.

The firm’s seventh fund did not (or could not) raise any additional capital since August. It held a final close on $27.3 million.

Combining Portfolio Companies To Save Them

This week I reported that Mohr Davidow had combined two of its cancer-fighting biotech startups — CELLective Diagnostics and The DNA Repair Company — into a third, new company called On-Q-ity.

Last month I reported that Box.net, a Draper Fisher-funded service to share and store content online, had purchased another Draper, Fisher-backed company — Increo.

It turns out that this is a trend. Mohr Davidow’s Sue Siegel said she knew of two other venture firms that are talking about ways to combine each other’s portfolio companies, and a glance through the tech blogs of the last couple months shows that Softbank Capital and angel investor Ron Conway may be doing the same.

Mohr Davidow Combines Portfolio Companies To Fight Cancer

On-Q-ity, which announced a $21 million Series A round today, is a combination of two other Mohr Davidow companies — CELLective Diagnostics and The DNA Repair Company — that would have languished and probably died had their investors and scientists not figured out a way to keep their technology alive, said Mohr Davidow’s Sue Siegel.

Both companies had the misfortune of looking for a Series B round in the summer of 2008 — a slow season to begin with — and then getting hit with the global financial collapse that followed.

“They found themselves not able to raise a financing, not because of the merits of the technology, but because of the environment and the circumstances that existed,” Siegel said. “Many companies didn’t get financing, and you’ll find a graveyard of companies where either the technology was shelved or it got delayed or they’re subsisting on minimal dollars until they see another day.”

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23andMe Hits Some Bumps

In May, Dan reported that Mohr Davidow Ventures had sold its small stake in personal genomics company 23andMe — famous partly because of its co-founder, Anne Wojcicki, who’s married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin — and invested in rival Navigenics.

Both companies analyze your DNA and report if you are predisposed to certain genetic diseases.

Mohr Davidow’s Sue Siegel said today that although her firm’s parting with 23andMe was amicable, the two did not see eye-to-eye on what role venture capitalists should play. Mohr Davidow’s limited partners require the firm to take board seats with companies they invest in, she said, and 23andMe didn’t want venture capitalists on the board.

“We have a fiduciary duty to watch our investments, and when we commit we need to take board seats,” Siegel said. “I think that’s more of a norm than an exception.”

Vdopia Raises $4 Million, Adds Sharma as CEO

Vdopia, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of a pre-app and in-app video advertising platform for the iPhone, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners. The company also named Rohit Sharma, former principal with Mohr Davidow Ventures, as its new president and CEO.

VitaPath Raises $6 Million For Spina Bifida

Foster City-based startup VitaPath is working on a cheek-swab test for women that detects the genetic mutation that causes spina bifida, a birth defect that strikes around 1% of babies born in the U.S. and is epidemic in some third-world countries.

By the time it’s detected in the fetus, it can’t be cured, but women who take the test can prevent it by taking large doses of folic acid before they get pregnant, said CEO Bruce Cohen. Folic acid makes the defective gene function correctly.

VitaPath’s test is based on research done at UC Berkeley by Jasper Rine, a professor who studies the frequency and functions of mutations in genes that perform central metabolic functions. Some of these

And Here’s A Genomics Company That’s Not Getting Funding…

TruGenetics — which emerged in June with the promise of free personal genetic scans to the first 10,000 people who registered — has stopped taking registrations while “we work on developing a new strategy,” according to a post on the company’s Web site.

Apparently, that promise was merely a way to collect registrations. TruGenetics now says that the funding to launch its genome scanning program still hasn’t come through, “despite our best efforts and contrary to our expectations,” according to a note circulating last week. Those people who have already registered can delete their records from TruGenetics’ database and will be kept informed of any progress, the note said.

Adamas Raises $40 Million To Battle Flu Pandemics

Emeryville, Calif.-based Adamas has been working in stealth mode for at least three years to develop an anti-viral drug for flu pandemics, including the H1N1 virus (aka swine flu).

“A pandemic is a horrible problem to face as a healthcare system and as individuals, but you probably understand as a private equity reporter that it’s an unprecedented opportunity to do clinical trials in a short period of time (because the motivation to find a vaccine is so high),” said Adamas Chairman and CEO Gregory Went. “More people die of flu than you realize.”

Adamas is working on a triple-combination drug to fight flu because all flus have grown resistant to single drugs, he said. A similar strategy was used against tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis C and other diseases.

Mohr Davidow Bets Big On Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences’ whopping $68 million in funding this week is supposed to take the gene sequencing company out of R&D mode and into product mode and is a hedge against a possible downturn in the fall, said Bill Ericson at Mohr Davidow, which has invested in all five of the company’s rounds. “It was a […]

MDV Raises Annex Capital for Three Funds

A few months back, we reported that Mohr Davidow Ventures was looking to raise some “annex” capital for its seventh fund. We also noted the irony of bulking up this particular fund, since it had originally closed in 2002 with $850 million, before slimming down to $450 million via a pair of fund size reductions.

Today, we noticed a regulatory filing indicating that MDV seems to have closed the annex (or at least part of it), with $27 million in new capital. So the total is now up to around 57% of what MDV raised in the first place for Fund VII, whose active portfolio includes such companies as Nanosolar, PacketMotion and Proofpoint.

What we also noticed was that MDV appears to have added annex capital to its two subsequent funds. One filings shows that MDV has raised $25 million for Fund VIII, a $400 million vehicle raised in 2005, and

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