Return to search

ARCH Closes Seventh VC Fund

ARCH Venture Partners has closed its seventh fund with $400 million in capital commitments. It will continue to focus on seed-stage and early-stage tech and life sciences companies.




ARCH Venture Partners announced the closing of its seventh venture fund with $400 million in capital commitments. ARCH Venture Fund VII, L.P. (Fund VII) makes ARCH one of the largest providers of seed capital in the U.S. with approximately $1.5 billion under management. Fund VII attracted investors representing some of the largest U.S., European and Asian interests, including university endowments, corporations, major pension funds, public institutions, and private family foundations.


Fund VII will continue ARCH's focus on seed and early-stage companies commercializing revolutionary technology emanating from universities, national laboratories, corporate research laboratories, and successful entrepreneurs. ARCH is one of few venture firms of its size that concentrates on the creation of new companies based upon scientific research and the resulting technologies. ARCH has earned a reputation as one of the leading venture capital firms investing in breakthroughs in life sciences, physical sciences, and information technology, and in the increasing convergence of such technologies. The firm is well known for identifying and capitalizing on fundamental trends in early stage biotechnology, advanced materials, and specialty semiconductors.


Keith Crandell, Managing Director, said, “Fund VII will target distinctive innovations in advanced materials, including novel developments in semiconductors, photonics, and nanotechnology. The pace of innovation at research institutions continues unabated, and great fundamental advances are being made, particularly in the convergence of multiple disciplines such as biology, nanotech and optoelectronics. We will continue to see new industries develop as research unlocks hidden science.”


Fund VII will also continue ARCH's leadership in biotechnology investing. “We have a firm belief that investing in fundamental biotechnology innovations is one of the few areas that wins in cyclical economies.” said Robert Nelsen, Managing Director. “We have seen our biotech platform companies do quite well throughout repetitive cycles, contrary to the industry trend toward 'product-only' companies. Our focus is on the most innovative opportunities, from pioneering technology to landmark products to expanding into unconventional markets.”


ARCH Venture Partners, founded in 1986, is a spin-off from an innovative technology commercialization initiative originated by The University of Chicago. Now in its 22nd year, ARCH has approximately $1.5 billion under management across multiple venture funds.


ARCH has invested in more than 120 companies, most of them from the concept stage. A sampling of portfolio successes include early investments in Illumina, Inc. (ILMN), New Era of Networks, Inc., Aviron, Inc., Xtera Communications, Inc., Ahura Scientific, Inc., Nanophase Technologies Corp. (NANX), Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (CALP), deCODE Genetics, Inc. (DCGN), XenoPort, Inc. (XNPT), and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY). Further notable companies in the portfolio include Ikaria Holdings, Inc., Fate Therapeutics, Inc., Impinj, Inc., Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TRBN), ALIS Corp., MicroOptical Devices, Inc., Array BioPharma, Inc. (ARRY), Elixir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., NeurogesX, Inc. (NGSX), Surface Logix, Inc., and Classmates Online, Inc.


ARCH's successful model of technology commercialization has garnered coverage from top business journals, periodicals, and in two case studies written by distinguished academics at The Harvard Business School.


As a team, the ARCH partners are unique, sharing more than 20 years of collaborative and interdisciplinary work in early stage new enterprise formation. The Co-Founding Managing Directors are Keith Crandell, Robert Nelsen, Clinton Bybee and Steve Lazarus (Emeritus). Managing Directors are Patrick Ennis, Scott Minick and Steve Gillis.