July 30, 2004 |
In an encouraging sign for cash-hungry entrepreneurs, venture-capital firms are starting to invest more money in start-up companies. One big beneficiary is a Philadelphia specialty pharmaceutical company developing new treatments for congestive heart failure. Cardiokine Inc. received $37 million in venture financing to begin Phase 3 clinical trials on a drug, Lixivaptan, licensed from Wyeth. It is one of 27 companies in the region that received a total of $127.4 million during the second quarter of the year, according to the quarterly MoneyTree Survey released this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.
April 30, 2004 |
Private investors in new technology companies, who were staggered by losses from the collapse of many Internet-based ventures just a few years ago, have regained their footing, largely by turning to health-care firms, an industry survey reports. These investors have been heartened by a surge in both initial public offerings and acquisitions. These two methods of selling companies in their portfolios had virtually dried up in recent years, discouraging investors from making commitments.
March 1, 2004 |
Want to know what's happened to technology investing? Follow Steven D. Hobman. The peripatetic financier has come home, so to speak, to NewSpring Ventures L.P., of King of Prussia. He helped found the private-equity fund 4 1/2 years ago but then served only on its advisory and investment panels, as he set up shop at a series of area banks. But now he is at NewSpring full time, helping to launch a $100 million "mezzanine" fund. These are funds that invest in companies that have grown out of their infancy, need capital to expand, and have the revenues to take on some debt.
December 16, 2003 |
One of Philadelphia's largest law firms has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle malpractice claims alleging the firm failed to prevent losses in public pension funds in Pennsylvania and three other states. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll L.L.P., which counts Gov. Rendell among its former partners, will pay the money to its former client, the troubled, Philadelphia-based Keystone V Partners L.P. venture capital fund, to be returned to the pension funds. The deal must win approval from Judge Gene D. Cohen of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court's commercial section.
November 3, 2003 |
Small technology companies in the Philadelphia area that are backed by private-equity funds have received more money so far this year than in all of 2002. Through the third quarter of this year, $318 million was invested; $284 million was invested last year, according to the quarterly MoneyTree Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association. Nearly $78 million was invested in the third quarter, more than double the amount in the same quarter a year ago. That reverses two years of sharp declines in such investments, which are so risky that they have become a barometer of economic optimism.
October 24, 2003 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered the Pennsylvania state workers' pension system to hand over records of its relationship with a troubled Philadelphia venture-capital firm that is the subject of a government investigation. "They want some documents dealing with the Keystone IV, V and VI [venture-capital funds] in reference to their pursuit of the principals of Keystone," Nicholas Maiale, the Philadelphia lawyer who is chairman of the $20 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, said after learning of the SEC subpoena yesterday.
August 4, 2003 |
In a sign of the times, a company that thinks of mice as pests - not computer accessories - has reported raising the largest amount in private equity investments in the Philadelphia area in recent months. GCA Services Group Inc., of West Conshohocken, is in a business few would immediately associate with the technology-focused world of venture capital: It provides janitorial services. Year after year, only 10 percent of the deals funded by venture funds involve non-technology companies.
April 1, 2003 |
If officials' most optimistic scenario comes to pass, in two years, Camden will be home to a venture-capital fund that will have $75 million to invest in emerging-technology companies in the region. A down payment of $850,000 was delivered yesterday by officials of the U.S. Economic Development Administration to Rutgers Camden Technology Campus Inc., a small-business incubator that was launched in October. About $750,000 will go toward groundwork for the fund, including legal expenses and a search for professionals to manage it. The incubator is an arm of Rutgers University's School of Business at Camden, and the university raised $550,000 to qualify for the EDA grant.
February 3, 2003 |
Like a doctor consoling a patient, Gerald A. Schaafsma emphasizes the positives in the state of private investing in the Philadelphia region. "I can't say our region is suffering any more than any other part of the country," said Schaafsma, chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group, one of the area's largest associations of private investors and related professionals. Schaafsma, general partner of Anthem Capital L.P., of Rosemont, even detects signs of a possibly quick return to health: More than 30 percent of the region's private financing went to "early stage" companies last year, versus about 20 percent nationally, suggesting a renewed appetite for these investments, which are considered riskier than financing company expansions.
January 1, 2003 |
Get big fast and then implode was the trajectory of many Internet-related companies that gained momentum during the tech bubble. But some, such as Refinery Inc., of Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County, managed to avoid that fateful arc. Unlike competitors, the Web-site-design firm did not seek venture capital that would have allowed it to grow quickly. It grew more slowly than most and did not veer from its core business. "We tried to be more grounded," said Andrew Sullivan, the company's cofounder and chief executive officer, who has a degree from New York University's film school.