Polaris raising $400 mln seventh fund


Polaris Partners has become the latest firm to officially add its name to the list of those in fundraising mode.

The Waltham, Mass.-based tech and life science venture investor is seeking to raise $400 million for its seventh fund, according to a securities filing.

The new fund filing comes on the heels of several IPOs of Polaris portfolio companies, particularly those in life science fields.

Acceleron Pharma, a developer of cancer therapeutics, went public in September and is currently valued above $1 billion, though the stock is off from its highs earlier this year.

Receptos, a developer of therapies for immune disorders, went public last year and is valued at about $900 million.

Polaris also listed on its website that it was a seed-stage investor in San Francisco-based Trulia, which operates a real estate search engine and which went public in September 2012 at a valuation of about $580 million.

As for its still-private portfolio, Polaris is also the earliest and largest venture backer of Living Proof, a developer of scientifically advanced beauty products, including shampoos and wrinkle reducers, that is known for having actress Jennifer Aniston as a celebrity spokesperson and shareholder.

On the tech and Internet side, portfolio companies include LegalZoom, which Polaris describes as the largest U.S. online legal services provider, Art.com, an art retailer and InMobi, a mobile advertising network.

Polaris Venture Partners V, a $1 billion fund that closed in 2006, had returned a multiple of 1.45x on invested capital as of the end of last year, according to Bison, which tracks performance of public LPs. Polaris closed Fund VI, a $375 million vehicle, in 2010.

Recently, the 18-year-old firm has been expanding its geographic reach. In June, Polaris announced that Gary Swart, former CEO of oDesk, a site for finding matching employers and remote workers, will join as a venture partner in the firm’s San Francisco-based office. The new hire is part of a broader plan for Polaris to build a stronger presence on the West Coast.

This story first appeared in Reuters Venture Capital Journal. Subscribers can read the original story here. To subscribe to VCJ and other venture-related research products, click here for the Marketplace.

Photo illustration of funding sign from Shutterstock.

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