PASADENA, CA (March 6, 2000) - idealab Capital Partners (ICP) announced today that it will open an office in Silicon Valley, which will be headed by new Managing Director Erik Lassila. Mr. Lassila joins ICP, a successful Internet-focused venture capital firm, from Charter Venture Capital.
"Our new office strengthens our presence in the Bay area and enables us to better serve our many Northern California companies. As idealab! moves into other markets, it makes sense to have an ICP presence in those markets as well," said Bill Elkus, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of ICP. "Erik is well positioned to lead this effort. His experience in technology includes an operations background, proven investment ability, and experience in building early stage companies. He is a strong complement to our team."
"I was attracted by ICP’s remarkable track record and its access to top tier investment opportunities," said Lassila. "The companies in the ICP portfolio illustrate both the success of its relationship with idealab! and its ability to help build leading companies that were created and developed outside of idealab!." The ICP office in Silicon Valley will be co-located in Palo Alto with idealab! Silicon Valley, which was founded in September of 1999.
Mr. Lassila’s investment focus is in the areas of ecommerce, e-business applications, and network infrastructure. At Charter Venture Capital, he led investments including NetBoost Corp. (acquired by Intel); Financial Engines; Eve.com; Collabria; WeGo.com and Inpurchase.
Prior to joining Charter in 1998 as a Managing Director, he worked with Mayfield Fund, a venture capital partnership, as an associate and consultant for three years. Before his venture career, he held positions for six years in engineering, product management, sales, and sales management for technology companies including Motorola and Texas Instruments. Mr. Lassila holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Stanford University.
Mr. Lassila joins ICP in its second private equity fund, which closed in August of 1999 with over $350 million to invest in growing Internet companies. The closing marked Southern California’s largest venture capital fund to date (source: Venture One). Early investments include: PayPal.com, HealthAllies.com, Homepage.com, Handshake.com and BestOffer.com.
ICP accepted capital commitments for its second fund from investment entities representing Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, HarbourVest Partners, Horsley Bridge, California Institute of Technology, INVESCO Private Capital, Mellon Ventures, Los Angeles County Retirement Association and others. ICP also received new investments from its own principals and its first equity fund investors, including Grove Street (CalPERS), the State of Michigan, Moore Capital Management and the Ray Hunt Family.
The second fund builds on the success of ICP’s first, in which over $100 million was raised in 1998 and invested in 25 Internet businesses. Several of ICP’s portfolio companies have had successful public offerings, including GoTo.com, eToys, Tickets.com, NetZero and MP3.com. Three ICP companies were successfully sold: Jump!, was sold to Microsoft, Free-PC was sold to eMachines, and Trivida was sold to BeFree. Two others were involved in high profile mergers - Launchpad/eWallet acquired PointCast and PetJungle.com merged with PETsMART.com. Other ICP investments include RealNames (in registration for its IPO), Aveo, OpenSales and PeopleSupport.
About idealab Capital Partners
idealab Capital Partners ("ICP") is a venture capital firm affiliated with idealab! and located in Pasadena and Palo Alto (temporary headquarters are in Sunnyvale). A leader in early-stage venture financing of Internet companies, ICP‘s $350 million second fund and $100 million first fund have invested in over 30 Internet startups. These include many firms created within idealab!, such as GoTo.com, eToys and CarsDirect.com, and more traditional startups such as NetZero, RealNames and MP3.com.
ICP was founded in 1998 by Bill Elkus and Bill Gross, and its limited partners include the investment entities of MIT, Caltech, The State of Michigan, The State of California, Goldman Sachs, Moore Capital, Horsley Bridge and HarbourVest. More information about ICP can be found at www.icp.com.