Darwin seeks $100 mln for VC fund-of-funds

Darwin Ventures, a fund-of-funds focused on early-stage venture capital, is seeking to raise up to $100 million for a third fund-of-funds according to a regulatory filing.

Firm partners declined to comment on the filing. San Francisco-based Darwin raised its prior fund, a $94 million vehicle, in 2008. The firm raised its first fund in 2004, closing on $40 million.

Darwin focuses on U.S.-based venture funds and across industry sectors, including technology and healthcare. To date, it has invested in more than 30 venture firms, including a number that are known to be perennially oversubscribed. The list includes Accel Partners, Avalon Ventures, Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, Founders Fund and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

On its website, Darwin said its fund selection process is based on past performance, managerial and technology experience, team cohesion, alignment of economic incentives, and a firm’s standing within the venture capital and technology communities. The fund-of-funds also seeks diversification by vintage year in its portfolio.

Limited partners in its prior Fund II included the Regents of the University of California, the University of Oregon Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation. The filing for the third fund did not name any LPs, although it did state that Darwin has closed on $21.4 million for the planned $100 million fund.

Darwin lists three partners on its website: Frank R. Caufield, founder and managing director and a former serial entrepreneur and angel investor; Charlie Jadallah, a partner and founder of payments startup Merchant e-Solutions and who previously worked at Oracle and Netscape; and Scott Monahan, administrative partner and has an investment banking background.

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