Aydin Senkut Gets His Fund

Aydin Senkut, a former Googler turned prolific angel investor, has raised roughly $16 million of what is estimated to become a $30 million fund, according to a new SEC filing. Eight investors have already participated in the offering for Felicis Ventures II, according to the filing, which does not list a minimum investment amount.

Senkut, who is traveling out of the country, was not available for comment.

That Senkut is successfully raising his first “institutional” fund isn’t surprising, given his track record thus far. While he has backed more than 50 startups since he began angel investing in 2006, he has also enjoyed at least six exits. For example, Senkut was one of the first investors in the semantic search engine company Powerset, which sold to Microsoft in 2008 for more than $100 million, after raising $14 million from investors including Founders Fund and Foundation Capital.

Senkut — who typically invests between $25,000 and $100,000 in each startup — also made out when the marketing services startup VoiceStar sold for $28 million to Marchex in 2007; it had raised less than $1 million, including from First Round Capital.

In a wide-ranging interview last year, Senkut told me that those exits had not yet repaid him what he’d invested in portfolio companies, but that might have changed last fall,  when the personal finance site Mint.com was acquired by Intuit for $170 million just two years after its launch. Mint.com had raised $31 million altogether, including from Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, and Sherpalo Ventures.

Senkut was also an investor in Cake Financial, which raised an undisclosed amount of funding, including from Alsop-Louie, before selling in January to Etrade.

I first met Senkut soon after he quit Google in 2005. After six years as a senior manager responsible for Asia Pacific strategic partner development and account management, the search giant’s IPO had made him supremely wealthy overnight, and Senkut, like some other Googlers, had his sights on becoming a venture capitalist in the same vein as had Josh Kopelman, the entrepreneur turned founder of First Round Capital and Mike Maples, the entrepreneur-turned founder of Floodgate Fund.

Indeed, Senkut almost immediately began working on Felicis Ventures, designing his own logo and Website, setting up his own phones, and arranging informational interviews for himself all over the Valley, including with Sequoia’s Mike Moritz.

Since that time, Senkut has been as active as anyone on the seed-investing front, even hiring a principal, Sundeep Peechu, a former product manager at Intel, and bringing on operations manager Kerry Murphy. Just a sampling of Senkut’s investments over the past year include:

* The analytics platform KISSMetrics, which recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Felicis, True Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, SoftTech VC, and angels Dave McClure, Shervin Pishevar and Bobby Yazdani.

* CrowdFlower, which has raised more than $6 million in Series A and angel financing from Felicis, Trinity Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Freestyle Capital, Founder’s Fund, K9 Ventures, and Quest Venture Partners

* Milo.com, an online shopping engine focused on local merchants and that has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Felicis, True Ventures and a group of individual angels including Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, Jeff Clavier, and Aaron Patzer.

* Posterous, a blog publishing platform that has raised $4.4 million in Series A funding from Felicis, Redpoint Ventures, Trinity Ventures, SV Angel, Founder Collective, Lowercase Capital and others.

* Practice Fusion, an electronic health record services startup, which has raised between $5 million and $7 million from Felicis, Band of Angels, and Morgenthaler Ventures.