Nijhawan Leaves Key at Desk

peHUB has learned that Vinit Nijhawan has left Key Venture Partners, which he had joined back in 2005 as a venture partner.

KVP managing director David Dame confirmed the news yesterday (Nijhawan remains on the firm’s website), and said that it was caused by a divergence of stage focus: “Vinit decided that he has a greater interest in early-stage investing, whereas we’re more focused on growth-stage.”

I also asked Dame about a secondary explanation – that Nijhawan has no economics in the current KVP fund, and had grown weary of waiting for the next one. Dame acknowledged that Nijhawan had the possibility for economics in the next fund, but reaffirmed his original “stage” statement. He also said that KVP still has dry powder for new investments, and that marketing for the next fund is expected to begin in early 2008.

There had been reports that marketing for the fund already had begun and was then postponed, but Dame says those talks were all informal, without any PPM ever being drawn up. Some of the rumors, he says, were born of secondary firm interest in some sort of stapled transaction – but those discussions died once Key Corp. said that it wouldn’t sell its existing LP position.