March 5, 2015

Boston Business Journal

Boston VC firm G20 Ventures debuts with $63M fund

G20 Ventures has closed its first venture capital fund with $63.45 million, which it plans to invest in up to 15 early-stage startups by 2017.

The fund's focus is on enterprise software, infrastructure and Internet startups headquartered on the East Coast, including Boston, New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Our focus is on the East Coast. We think there's plenty of money on the West Coast," said Bob Hower, co-founder of G20 Ventures and general partner of Advanced Technology Ventures in Boston, in an interview.

The fund has already made four investments in early-stage companies since it began raising money about a year ago. Those companies are: ThinkingPhones, a Cambridge-based communications technology company; Boston-based Dunwello, a website that offers reviews of industry professionals; Somerville-based Evergage, which offers real-time web personalization; and 128 Technology, a company in stealth mode that was created by the founders of Bedford-based Acme Packet (IPO, then acquisition by Oracle for $2.1 billion).

G20 Ventures was founded by Hower and Bill Wiberg, partners at Advanced Technology Ventures in Boston, and Hower said the venture capital fund is not a typical VC firm.

"Our strategy is to be selective and spend a lot of time on the companies we do invest, and support them all the way through the exit," Hower said.

Hower, who has been with ATV since 2002 and is focused on IT investing, has made investments including Bedford-based Acme Packet and Waltham-based Actifio (valued at $500 million as of its latest venture round).

Wiberg, with ATV since 2003 and focused on cleantech, has led investments including Cambridge-based GreatPoint Energy, which was the largest equity investment of 2012 with a $420 million fundraise.

G20 means "group of 20" although there are actually 22 investors in the fund. Among those are: Actifio CEO and founder Ash AshutoshC.A. Webb, executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association; Dino Di Palma, CEO of Billerica-based Benu Networks; and Jeffrey McCarthy, partner at North Bridge Venture Partners.