North Bridge Moves Into Growth Equity

In yesterday’s PE Week Wire, I asked readers to name the Boston-area VC firm that is launching a sponsored growth equity fund. My hint was to “look up.” OK, apparently not a great hint – since no one got it right.

The correct answer is North Bridge Venture Partners, the venerable Waltham, Mass.-based firm that has made its bones on early-stage investments. The new fund will be run by former Advent International partners Doug Kingsley and Mike Pehl, and already has begun marketing itself to existing North Bridge limited partners.

The official fund target is $500 million, which is the same amount North Bridge raised last year for its sixth early-stage fund.

Kingsley is the former co-head of Advent’s North American deals team, and officially left last December. Pehl helps run a technology VC practice that Advent began phasing out a while back. Both Pehl and fellow Advent group leader Leigh Michl will continue to manage the existing fund portfolio to its natural conclusion – but neither will be fulltime Advent pros going forward (although they both are on the Advent website, as of this morning). No word yet on where Michl is headed.

“Growth Equity” means different things to different people, but I’m told that the North Bridge effort likely will focus on both control and non-control deals that involve equity contributions of between $20 million and $50 million. You also could see some PIPEs or other alternative structures.

Neither North Bridge nor Advent returned calls requesting comment