Monarch Partners Migrating From the South

SAN FRANCISCO (03/05/2000) - Almost two years ago, the venture capital firm Monarch Partners opened for business, setting up shop in Atlanta and Dallas with a $30 million fund. On Monday, the company plans to announce that its going to add an office and partner on Sand Hill Road, as it begins raising a $300 million fund specializing in wireless telecommunications and the Internet.

Although the new fund is not particularly large when compared with some of the billion-dollar funds that are being raised, Monarch's approach reflects some of the latest trends in the venture business. For instance, new players with relatively small amounts of cash are often choosing to specialize in certain technologic sectors within the Internet. And many venture firms - such as Monarch, which initially intended to focus its investing in the South - are deciding that it no longer makes sense to have a geographic focus. "Investors want venture capital companies that really understand a particular technology rather than being a jack-of-all-trades with a specific geographic focus," says Rob Guyton, Monarch's managing partner in Atlanta. "We want to lose our geographic focus and gain a stronger, narrower focus on technology."

According to a statement from the firm, the new partner in the Silicon Valley office is Gerry Purdy, president and CEO of Mobile Insights, which provides consulting on mobile computing and data communications to customers such as 3Com, Palm, Handspring, Apple, AT&T Wireless, Compaq, Dell, IBM and Microsoft.

He also was chief analyst at Dataquest, the statement says.

The firm already has received commitments for $100 million, and it expects to have little difficulty raising the remaining amount during the next few months, Guyton said. Monarch's previous $30 million fund included investments in e-commerce and browser-based applications, in addition to wireless-related Internet technologies.

So far, the firm has invested in 14 companies. Guyton says the firm will continue to concentrate on early stage investments. It will make investments of up to $15 million, according to a press release. Before establishing the firm, Guyton says he was a member of the board of directors and VP of business development at Inktomi, where he was one of the first executives and was involved in its formation.

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