Fund Will Fuel Growth of Entrepreneurial Life Science and Information Technology Companies in Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States
Research Triangle Park, NC (April 22, 2003) – The Aurora Funds, Inc., one of the leading early stage venture capital firms in the Southeast, announced today the final closing of its fourth venture fund, Aurora Ventures IV, LLC (Aurora IV). While the nation has seen a steady decline in both the size and number of venture funds, The Aurora Funds was able to exceed its original target of $75 million, raising a total of $85 million.
Ernst & Young tracks and publishes data on global venture capital financing, and created its own Venture Capital Advisory Group (VCAG) to work with the venture capital community. Les Bethune, a partner at Ernst & Young and a member of the VCAG, is familiar with the decline that venture capital financing experienced in 2002.
"The fact that Aurora has been able to successfully raise this fund, in a time of such economic and political unrest, is a testament to the firm and its reputation," said Bethune. "I would like to think that this is also an indication that things are improving locally and nationally, and I hope to see more successes like this one in the near future."
This latest fund from Aurora attracted a number of new investors including GoldenLEAF, Jones Investment Fund, Comerica Capital Advisors Inc., Louisiana Economic Development Corp, Montagu Newhall, RBC Centura, and Cape Fear Memorial Foundation. Several previous investors, including Duke Management Company, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, SHV Capital Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank also participated.
With the addition of this latest fund, The Aurora Funds currently manages more than $150 million in four venture funds and has invested in more than 35 early stage companies since 1995.
“While the current fundraising environment is challenging for everyone, we are pleased that our investment strategy was viewed so positively by our investors” said Jeff Clark, Managing General Partner of The Aurora Funds. “This new fund offers Aurora a unique opportunity to invest in promising young companies at a time when other investors are simply not able to move forward.”
Aurora has already made a number of investments from this fourth fund, including investments in Cropsolution, Regado Biosciences Inc., StrikeIron, and TissueInformatics.
The Aurora Funds Inc. is based in North Carolina, which was ranked among the top ten states for venture capital dollars raised in 2002, according to a recent analysis conducted by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (www.cednc.org) in conjunction with Price Waterhouse Coopers, Venture Economics, and the National Venture Capital Association. While based in North Carolina, Aurora invests throughout the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States.
About The Aurora Funds, Inc.
Founded in 1994, The Aurora Funds, Inc. is a venture capital firm that provides capital, connections and strategic help to entrepreneurs with early stage life science and information technology companies. Aurora’s investment team members have over 35 years of combined venture capital experience and over 40 years of high technology operational experience.
Aurora typically invests in seed and first round financing opportunities. The firm’s initial investment size ranges from $50,000 in a seed investment to as much as $2.0 million in a first round financing. The firm has the capacity to invest between $5 million and $10 million throughout the life cycle of an investment. More information is available at www.aurorafunds.com.
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