Term Sheet

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Leap Motion gets its own VC fund

June 20, 2013: 4:01 PM ET

CaptureMotion sensor company gets some extra support from Highland Capital.

FORTUNE -- Venture capitalists talk about their portfolio companies as if they are offspring, hesitant to ever say they love one more than another. But here's one way to keep score: If a VC firm creates an entire fund to support a single portfolio company's ecosystem, then you've found one of the chosen ones.

That's what is happening at Highland Capital Partners, which has allocated $25 million for investments in companies that utilize Leap Motion's 3D motion-control and motion-sensing technology.

Highland first invested in San Francisco-based Leap Motion last May, leading a $12 million Series A round. Two months later, Highland partner Andy Miller left to take over as Leap Motion's COO. Miller was Apple's (AAPL) former mobile ad chief, who joined via Apple's $275 million acquisition of Highland-backed Quattro Wireless.

Then came a $30 million Series B round earlier this year, from Highland and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund.

Now comes this new commitment, although it will go to third parties rather than to Leap Motion directly. Not only could it support companies already using Leap Motion -- in a variety of sectors -- but also could encourage others to launch and/or create relevant services.

My assumption is that the $25 million is a carve-out from Highland's $400 million eighth fund (raised in 2009), but still awaiting confirmation since the firm has been trying to raise a new vehicle.

Leap Motion recently signed a deal to have their controllers bundled with select Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Asus computers, and sold exclusively on a stand-alone basis at Best Buy (BBY).

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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