FinTech investor BlueRun closes smallest fund in 20-year history

BlueRun Ventures has closed the smallest fund in the firm’s 20-year history by pulling in $130m for BRV VI.

The firm, which rebranded from Nokia Venture Partners almost 15 years ago, focuses on early stage opportunities across FinTech, mobile software and services, and digital health.

It filed to raise up to $200m for its latest vehicle, but fell short of that figure for the final close after almost two years of fundraising.

BRV VI also came in below the $150m fifth fund raised by the firm in 2014, and ended up just over half the size of the $240m Fund IV from 2009,

BlueRun said the latest fund will be used for early-stage investments, both seed and Series A rounds, in companies where data and real time computing can disrupt incumbents and create new category winners.

The firm’s current FinTech portfolio includes B2B payment technology provider PayStand and small business and consumer lending operator Kabbage.

Jonathan Ebinger, general partner at BlueRun, said, “BRV’s consistent early stage investment approach is supported by our seasoned base of limited partners, allowing us to fund companies at critical moments in their growth.

“Investing in early stage is a consistent focus for our firm and our role in the venture ecosystem.

“Our core belief is that targeted funds yield better returns over time. The close of BRV VI is a continuation of our firm’s strategic efforts.”

The firm began investing as Nokia Venture Partners in 1998, raising $150m for its debut fund and $500m for Fund II.

Nokia provided almost half of the capital for the $350m third fund, which came after the rebrand to BlueRun in 2005.

BRV has invested in over 160 companies to date, with exits including from PayPal when it was acquired by eBay, Waze (acquired by Google), Topsy (acquired by Apple), and Coupa, which listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

In addition to the BRV VI fund close, the firm announced that Cheryl Cheng has been promoted to general partner.

She joins Ebinger and John Malloy as general partners at the firm, and will focus on digital health, consumer mobile, and application layer enterprise software.

Copyright © 2019 AltAssets

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