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Versant's voyage

Versant has expanded geography, new $305M fund mainly for therapeutics

Many life science VCs have narrow geographic footprints, but Versant Ventures has instead expanded operations to Canada and Europe, where it believes there are both good research, and untapped opportunities. The firm also is forgoing a lean virtual model to create a team of about 100 scientists to build out companies around academic work with a potential exit.

Versant closed its fifth life sciences fund last week with $305 million. The fund came from new and existing LPs, including new LPs in Canada and Europe.

"We're becoming more broad in our geography, and so our investor base is becoming more broad," said Managing Director Brad Bolzon.

Versant was originally targeting $250 million for the fund, but bumped the figure up based on investor appetite. "We don't believe we can effectively put much more than $300 million to work and be as selective as we'd like to be," said Bolzon.

The firm closed its fourth fund with $500 million in 2008.


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