Rob Go

Exclusive: NextView Ventures raises first fund

February 21, 2012: 9:45 AM ET

Boston-based micro-VC firm has cash in the bank.

Regular readers know that I'm far more bullish on the Boston-area startup scene than is your average blogging bear. Part of it is surely hometown booster-ism, which (hopefully) gets balanced out by my physical presence outside of the Silicon Valley and New York City echo chambers. Plus, I actually bother to read the data.

What Boston continues to lack, however, are micro-VC firms. We've got plenty of established venture firms and a burgeoning angel phenomenon, but few new institutional groups focused exclusively on seed-stage companies.

One of the exceptions has been NextView Ventures, formed in mid-2010 by Dave Beisel (ex-Venrock), Rob Go (ex-Spark Capital) and Lee Hower (ex-Point Judith Capital/LinkedIn). It invests along the entire East Coast – plus opportunistically in Silicon Valley – but is based just a stone's throw away from Boston's South Station.

And now NextView has formally closed its debut fund, with $21 million in capital commitments (sorry for burying the lead). Expect it to invest between $250k-$500k in tech companies that are raising institutional seed rounds. A little more than half of its investments will be consumer-facing, while the remainder will be B2B. "We're not going too deep down the infrastructure stack," Hower says.

It already has 16 portfolio companies – mostly smaller deals funded from partner capital – with plans to add another 15 or 20.

I asked Rob Go about what surprised him, if anything, about the fundraising process. His reply: "I hadn't realized how much the LP universe charts out the future, in terms of how LPs have already broken out allocations based on what's in market or coming back to market. I'm not exactly saying that new funds should try timing the market, but it certainly pays to be aware of who else is raising capital."

Update: Lee Hower has put up a blog post about the fundraise.

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