Draper Atlantic Loses Its Draper

Last month, I reported that Draper Atlantic Ventures seemed to have lost its Draper. But it seems that was only half the story.

Draper Atlantic Ventures has, indeed, renamed itself New Atlantic Ventures – and is in the market with a $200 million fund. Not only does it include the former Draper Atlantic partners (minus Jim Lynch), but it also includes the partners of Boston-based DFJ New England. This is a merger of sorts, with each firm expected to manage their legacy funds while simultaneously marketing the new vehicle.

I spoke on Friday with partners John Backus and Thanasis Delistathis – both of whom declined to discuss fundraising – and was told that the decision should not be construed as dissatisfaction with DFJ. Backus actually is a former fraternity brother of Tim Draper, while Delitsathis went to high school with Andreas Stacropolous and business school with Jennifer Fonstad. Instead, they simply felt that the firm was old enough to move away from home.

“We were the first affiliate fund to use the Draper name,” Backus explained. “But we felt that the time had come for us to go out and build our own brand.” It also probably didn’t hurt that Draper Atlantic recently had a big hit with the sale of Mobile365, which will return around $44 million to the firm after an initial investment of just $1.5 million (plus a small amount of follow-on cash). It also just scored an IPO for DivX.

You can read more about this news in Monday’s print edition of PE Week.