About: Venrock is a premier venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, New York, Cambridge, MA, and Israel. Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family, Venrock continues an eight-decade tradition of partnering with entrepreneurs to establish successful, enduring companies. Having invested $2.4 billion in 437 companies resulting in 124 IPOs and 129 M&A exits over the past 40 years, Venrock’s investment returns place it among the top tier venture capital firms that have achieved consistently superior performance. With a primary focus on technology, healthcare, and energy, portfolio companies have included Adify, Adnexus Therapeutics, Apple Computer, Centocor, Check Point Software, DoubleClick, Gilead Sciences, Idec Pharmaceuticals, Illumina, Intel, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sirna Therapeutics, StrataCom, and Vontu. Venrock, a compound of “Venture” and “Rockefeller”, was formed in 1969.
Partner: Brian Ascher, Richard Bradshaw, Mike Brooks, Tony Evnin, Ohad Finkelstein, Steve Goldby, Anders Hove, David Pakman, William Rastetter, Bryan Roberts, Ray Rothrock, David Shaw, Tony Sun, Matthew Trevithick, Mike Tyrrell
Under its Energy & Nano portfolio, I chose the cleantech ones: Boston-Power, Orecon, Qteros, Sapphire Energy, Transonic Combustion
Previous investments include: California Energy, Jadoo Power, NanoGram Devices (acquired by Wilson Greatbatch)
News: As mentioned in a blog earlier, in Jan 2009, Boston-Power, the rapidly growing provider of next-generation Lithium-ion batteries, announced $55 million in new funding. The Series D round was led by Foundation Asset Management (FAM) and included existing blue-chip investors Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.
In Nov 2008, “SunEthanol says it’s pulled in $25 million in a Series B round, and changed its name to boot. Now known as Qteros, after its Q microbe technology, the company raised the cash from a group including billionaire George Soros and big oil. Noticeably absent from the list of investors is South Dakota’s VeraSun Energy, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. VeraSun took a minority stake in Qteros, then SunEthanol, in August 2007. (Qteros CEO William Frey tells us via email that despite not participating in this round VeraSun continues as a shareholder in the company.) The Series B financing was led by new investor Venrock, along with previous investor Battery Ventures. Other new investors include London’s BP, no stranger to cleantech fundings, and Soros Fund Management. Series A backers Long River Ventures and Camros Capital also participated. BP already has a hand in cellulosic ethanol, putting $90 million into Cambridge-based Verenium, another Massachusetts-based biofuel firm, in August. BP has also invested cash in the Energy Biosciences Institute, an academic and industry collaboration, as well as California biofuel startup Synthetic Genomics.”