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Venrock's Nest investors fly the coop

January 7, 2014: 12:57 PM ET

Venrock's two energy-focused investors have left, and one of them already has formed a new firm.

venrock
FORTUNE -- Matthew Nordan has stepped down as an energy-focused vice president with VC firm Venrock, in order to launch a new firm alongside Chivas Lam (ex-venture partner with Qiming) and Greg Manuel (former SVP at Amyris Biotech and ex-special advisor for energy to Sec of State Condoleezza Rice).

Not another VC firm, but rather a clean energy project development company focused on China (likely via joint ventures or other such arrangements with U.S. companies). It's called MNL Partners, and does have some backing from institutional and individual investors (no details being disclosed yet). Expect Nordan to maintain his Venrock board seats with both Boston Power and FINsix.

Nordan's decision to leave Venrock comes as the firm appears to be deemphasizing energy investing. Partner Matt Trevithick also left the firm at year-end, although there is no word yet on his future plans.

Both Nordan and Trevithick had helped work on Nest Labs -- a popular maker of smart home appliances like thermostats and smoke detectors -- for Venrock, but it now looks like partner David Pakman is assuming that relationship.

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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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