News Bite: Canaan raises $600 million fund

Bambi Francisco Roizen · January 10, 2012 · Short URL:

25-year-old VC firm attracts funds for technology and healthcare investments

Canaan Partners is ringing in the new year with some good news. The 25-year-old Silicon Valley venture firm just announced it's raised $600 million for its Canaan IX fund, bringing its total capital under managemed to $3.5 billion.

Canaan's fundraising reflects the appetite from limited partners for early-stage funds. The total amount of venture capital funds raised in 2011 was $16.2 billion across 135 funds, according to Dow Jones LP Source. This is up 5% from last year and is due to strong demand for venture capital firms focused on early-stage investments, according to the report. The report also says there was a 12% decline in the number of firms that won commitments last year, which could indicate that Canaan was among the lucky ones to attract funds. 

About two-thirds of the fund will be focused on technology investments in digital media, consumer Internet, enterprise, mobile and communications in the U.S., India and Israel. A third of the fund will be designated to healthcare investments in biopharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare infrastructure. 

Some of the recent tech investments made in 2011 include, bets in, Lending Club and Kabam. 

Some of Canaan's investments include Advanced BioHealing, which was acquired by Shire for $750 million last year. Active Network (NYSE: ACTV), which raised $165M in a successful IPO in 2011; Associated Content, the leading content syndication platform, acquired by Yahoo! in 2010;  BiPar Sciences, pioneer of a new class of oncology drugs, acquired by Sanofi for $500M in 2009; and Calixa Therapeutics, developer of novel antibiotics, acquired by Cubist for $400M in 2009. Most recently, SandForce, the leading provider of flash storage and SSD processors for enterprise, was acquired by LSI for $370M in January 2012.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Kabam is an interactive entertainment company leading the next wave in social gaming, developing and publishing massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s), including the popular and critically praised title Kingdoms of Camelot and Dragons of Atlantis. Our studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of players looking for deeper, more engaging social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction.

Kabam started out as Watercooler, whose aim was to make connecting with your friends, family, and other fans of your favorite TV shows or Sports teams more compelling than ever before. By bringing fan communities into the context of your social network, Watercooler enables more engaging sports and TV fan experiences. Fans are able to access Watercooler's FanSection and TVLoop communities no matter where they are on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MyYahoo, and  Over 35 million sports and TV fans have joined Watercooler's fan applications  making it the largest online fan community.

Company History
Kabam was founded by a team of social networking and community software professionals in Mountain View, CA, in 2006. The company has raised a Series A round of financing from Canaan Partners of Menlo Park, CA.


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Maha Ibrahim

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Maha has been in the venture capital and technology industries for over 15 years. She currently sits on the boards for ClusterHQ, Cuyana, Kabam, Komprise, Koolbit, The RealReal, Twenty20 and UNIFi Software.