Council Ventures has changed its name to Council Capital to reflect more accurately the firm’s approach to investing, according to a release issued today. Nashville-based Council Capital’s investment focus remains the same — growth and early-growth stage health care companies, including IT concerns that are on the "right side of change,” those that both improve quality and reduce costs.
The firm’s general partners include Dennis Bottorff, Katie Gambill, Grant Jackson and Gary Peat. Their new website is www.councilcapital.com.
Venture capital fundraising jumped in the first quarter of 2011 to the highest level since the beginning of 2008. According to numbers from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, 36 U.S. venture capital firms raised about $7.1 billion in the first quarter, up from just $4 billion in Q1 2010.
"This year will be a defining one as many venture capital firms will be fundraising, some of whom have been waiting for the investor climate to improve before going out," said NVCA President Mark Heesen. "While it is encouraging to see the increase in dollars this quarter, much of that was driven by several larger, established funds. We would like to see a similar increase in the number of firms successfully closing funds as the year progresses."
In the first quarter of 2010, 44 firms were responsible for the $4 billion in fundraising. In Q1 2009, 57 firms raised about $4.9 billion.
The fundraising effort is scheduled to close March 31, but may be extended through June 30. A minimum $5 million must be raised to close and the standard is $250,000 investments, with individual units priced at $50,000. No investment has yet been solicited, but the offering will soon be on the streets. Said Davis, "We do believe that there are strategic investors in the entity category [who are prepared to] make substantial investments in the fund. We also think that there are individuals familiar with the Biofuels Initiative that are interested in investing."
Without question, there will continue to be opportunities and the seed/Micro VC and growth capital ends of the continuum. Capital will continue to flow into these areas and over the next 12-18 months the transformation from buyers market to sellers market will be complete.In case you've been living in a pit, there's been a focus in Nashville on seed stage investing through Jumpstart Foundry and the work at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
"Venture capitalists are pursuing strategies more akin to growth equity investing than traditional venture capital with some of their maturing Web companies," said Dow Jones VentureWire Editor Scott Austin. "Companies like Groupon, Zynga and Facebook are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue so VC's don't need to exit quickly. Instead, they are growing these companies through acquisitions of technology and talent as well as business development, which can require sizable cash infusions."For the year, venture investment in health care companies fell by 7 percent to $7.4 billion, though investments in health care services — the industry's smallest sector — grew 29 percent to $1.2 billion.
Among realities militating toward caution, said Coleman: The current venture-capital fundraising environment is extremely challenging; and, there remains uncertainty about how Reform will play-out. Institutional investors’ pursuit of liquidity is also hampering private-equity funding, he noted.
The recent trend toward outsourcing human resources and payroll services underscores CanopyHR's tremendous opportunity for additional growth. It has begun to emerge as a leader in the marketplace, with the combined strength of its innovative technology integration style and a reputation for dedicated customer service.