LiveOak Venture Partners has closed its debut fund on $109 million, beating its $100 million target for investments in early-stage companies in Texas and the Southwest. Fundraising took more than two years and LiveOak was able to bring in a diverse limited partner base, including public pensions, endowment and foundations. LiveOak has already completed five deals, with the largest equity check at $4 million. The firm anticipates doing 15 to 17 deals at an average of $6 million to $8 million, according to one of the founding general partners, Venu Shamapant.
LiveOak Venture Partners, a Texas-based early-stage venture capital firm, today announced that it has held a final close for its inaugural fund raising of more than $109 million. This is also the largest pool of capital raised in Texas for investment in early-stage technology companies in over five years. The firm will capitalize on a healthy pipeline of emerging Texas area startups led by local entrepreneurs and invest in upwards of 15 new portfolio companies across IT and technology-enabled services.
“Our investment in the fund was driven by the team’s successful track record in this market, deep-rooted network and hands-on approach with past investments,” said Stuart Bernstein at Teachers Retirement System of Texas and one of the early investors in the fund.
Total Texas investments were $1.3 billion in 2013, compared to the $12.2 billion in Silicon Valley alone, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Texas is materially underserved given it is the second largest employer of tech talent and home to the second most productive university system in the country in invention disclosures and patents. LiveOak hopes to close the disparity gap on the capital-starved environment, while also enhancing opportunities for other local and out-of-state investors to tap into this potential.
“As a two-time entrepreneur who has worked with the LiveOak team for over 10 years, I can attest to a very fruitful and collaborative experience,” said Pardeep Kohli, CEO of Dallas-based Mavenir Systems. “They incubated my previous company – Spatial Wireless and helped grow it to an acquisition for $300 million, and then later seeded my current company and helped grow it to an IPO last year, adding value at every stage of company development.”
LiveOak was founded by Venu Shamapant, Krishna Srinivasan, and Ben Scott who have a combined 40-plus years of early-stage investment experience in the Texas market. The firm’s team has created more than $1.5 billion of enterprise value from invested companies over the past 10 years with more than a third of their portfolio companies originated at the seed/incubation stage at the time of their first investment.
“LiveOak led our Series A financing with a $2 million investment,” said Kiwi Camara, CEO of Houston-based CS Disco Inc., a recent addition to the LiveOak portfolio. “The entire partnership provided strategic and tactical insight and customer introductions even before investing. I am always amazed by the quality of the ideas I walk away with after every board meeting.”
The LiveOak team looks to continue its long tradition of taking an active, value-added approach that involves collaboration with multiple partners on every investment, and gaining access to a strong pool of talent and a network of investors and strategic partners. To date the firm has invested in five companies, one of which is still at a seed stage.
About LiveOak Venture Partners:
LiveOak Venture Partners is a Texas-based, early-stage venture capital firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs who use disruptive technologies and business models to challenge the status quo. While many of their investments begin at the seed stage, LiveOak is a full lifecycle investor focused on technology and technology-driven service companies primary based in Texas and the Southwest. For over a decade, the founders of LiveOak have helped entrepreneurs create industry-leading companies, such as Spatial Wireless (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent), Navini Networks (acquired by Cisco Systems), LifeSize Technologies (acquired by Logitech) and Mavenir Systems (NYSE:MVNR).
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