Diversification vs. Sector Focus: Longitude, Enterprise Seek Latitude in Life Sciences
This article was originally published in Start Up
The age of specialization is not over for venture capital firms. The health care team from Pequot Ventures left the hedge-fund heavy firm to start Longitude Capital. Meanwhile, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital is said to be raising a health care only fund.
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Limited partners require results in today’s difficult climate. Firms with a sound strategy to take advantage of this current climate can have success. Longitude Capital’s partners say the firm’s late-stage focus helped it secure $385 million for its second fund. Split Rock Partners, meanwhile, remains an active investor in early-stage companies in technology and medical devices, investing from a $300 million fund raised in 2009. However, the firm has adjusted its strategy somewhat since raising that fund. Split Rock now is making direct secondary investments as well. The firm is focusing principally on its own portfolio for opportunities, buying out co-investors or executives who may need liquidity.
A history of strong returns from the firm, which backs both private and public health care companies, compelled existing investors to return for a new fund. Still, Longitude retained a placement agent to find new limited partners as an “insurance policy.”
The San Diego life sciences industry has endured several losses or setbacks by local venture capital firms yet its start-ups remain top recipients of capital.