Atlas Venture

Exclusive: Changes in the Atlas Venture partnership

April 8, 2014: 10:42 AM ET

Jon Karlen will join the Boston-based VC firm, while Fred Destin will depart.


FORTUNE -- There are some big changes afoot at Atlas Venture, which has transformed itself into one of the most influential VC firms in Boston (not only in terms of deals, but also in terms of encouraging growth of the local tech ecosystem). Atlas is expected to add Jon Karlen as a new tech-focused partner, while existing partner Fred Destin is planning to depart. Both moves will take effect sometime next month.

Karlen most recently spent eight years as a partner with Flybridge Capital Partners, where he led such deals as Digital Lumens, Restorando, 33Accross and Open English. He plans to focus on software and e-commerce investing at Atlas, but not on some of the Latin American stuff he did while with Flybridge.

Destin has been with Atlas for more than a decade, having first joined when the firm still had a large European presence with offices in London, Paris and Munich. When the firm basically reinvented and refocused itself in 2010 around Boston, Destin chose to come stateside. Now, however, he tells me that it's time to return home.

"It's gut-wrenching and heart-breaking to leave this firm and my portfolio companies," Destin says. "But I've heard about how most ex-pats hit some sort of wall after five years and return to Europe, and my family and I made it almost that long. I'll keep at least one portfolio company board seat because it's in the UK, and plan to stay in venture. We talked about the idea of me working from London, but there was a good reason for why we became a one-office firm, so it just didn't seem like it would work."

This switch leaves Atlas with four  tech-focused partners, but the firm is in talks to add a fifth. It also has three partners focused on the life sciences space. Atlas is investing out of a $295 million ninth fund raised last year

Sign up for Dan's daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers:


  • Exclusive: AngelList raises $24 million at a heavenly valuation

    AngelList builds its war chest, as the SEC prepares to lift its ban on general solicitation.

    FORTUNE -- For years, AngelList has freely facilitated introductions between entrepreneurs and investors. Now it's raised some big cash of its own.

    Fortune has learned that AngelList recently raised around $24 million at a valuation in the $150 million range. Atlas Venture and Google Ventures helped lead the round, which included participation by more than 100 MORE

    - Sep 22, 2013 5:20 PM ET
  • Objective Logistics raises VC to gamify restaurant waitstaffs

    Objective Logistics raises $5.3 million to grow its waitstaff management platform.

    FORTUNE -- If you've ever worked in a bar or restaurant, you know that there are certain shifts and sections that are more desirable than others. And you also know that getting a good schedule is capricious at best, and at worst based on how much managerial butt you can kiss.

    But Philip Beauregard is working to upend that dynamic through Objective MORE

    - Jul 18, 2013 12:07 PM ET
  • Exclusive: Atlas Venture raises ninth fund

    Boston-area VC firm rebounds with new fund.

    FORTUNE -- The first time I ever spoke with venture capitalist Jeff Fagnan was January 2009. I had heard that his firm, Atlas Venture, was cutting back on staff after finishing up fundraising more than $100 million below its $400 million target (and an even farther cry from the $750 million it had raised in the dotcom heyday). Not too enjoyable of a conversation. MORE

    - May 1, 2013 10:28 AM ET
  • Lessons from the frontlines of early-stage biotech investing

    Tips for navigating early-stage investments in biotech.

    By Bruce Booth, contributor

    Venture capital is often called an apprenticeship business because experience matters and takes time to accumulate. But successful firms are able to translate and transfer experiential wisdom through institutional memory, which involves codifying what works and what doesn't. Back in 2007, we did this with our life science team by pulling together a detailed list of "Lessons Learned" from our existing MORE

    Feb 12, 2013 12:55 PM ET
  • Exclusive: Ryan Moore joins Atlas Venture

    A significant development for Boston's venture capital market.

    Boston-area venture capitalist Ryan Moore has agreed to join Atlas Venture as a partner, Fortune has learned. He had spent the past 12 years with GrandBanks Capital, where his deals have included Enpocket (sold to Nokia), GlassHouse Technologies (in registration for an IPO) and Vivox.

    This is a significant move for a number of reasons. So I'm going to list them in no particular MORE

    - Sep 13, 2011 9:21 AM ET
  • The venture capital surprise

    New research on the VC industry turns conventional wisdom on its head.

    In the world of venture capital, tech is the movie star and life sciences the second banana. The champion and the also-ran. Just look at the most recent Forbes Midas List, in which the first life sciences investor doesn't appear until #16 (Bryan Roberts of Venrock).

    But new research suggests that this hierarchy has quietly reversed itself over the past MORE

    - Jul 11, 2011 9:19 AM ET
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by VIP.