Rich Levandov to Join Avalon

Boston’s venture capital industry may be hemorrhaging market share into San Diego Bay, but at least one SoCal firm has decided to reverse the flow.

peHUB has learned that La Jolla-based Avalon Ventures will open a satellite office in Boston – although a formal announcement will probably have to wait until Avalon finishes raising its eighth fund (yup, another VC firm playing submissive to overzealous counsel).

Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that Avalon has hired a new general partner who happens to be based in Boston, as this looks like a one-man shop for the time being. That partner is Rich Levandov, who is still listed as a general partner of Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to co-founding Masthead in 1997, Levandov was a partner with Softbank Technology Ventures and, before that, was VP of biz dev with AOL and co-founder of Phoenix Technologies.

Levandov did not respond to requests for comment, which means that I don’t know what will become of his board seats with such companies as Liquid Machines, NewsGator Technologies and Tremor Network. Also not sure what his move means for the future of Masthead, particularly when coupled with the recent departure of principal Dave Beisel for Venrock. The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm is kind of in limbo right now, as it’s beginning to run low on new investment capital from the $160 million fund it closed in 2003. I hear the IRR isn’t bad (no hard numbers available), but is currently more paper than liquid.

Avalon also isn’t talking (again, blame the lawyers). It raised $75 million for its seventh fund in 2005, and the addition of Levandov boosts its managing director roster to three.