Silicon Valley-based Canaan Partners have raised a $600 million (Rs 3,198 crore) fund Canaan IX to invest in technology and healthcare companies, the company has disclosed in a statement today.

Two-third of the newly raised fund will be used to fund digital media, Internet, mobile and other technology companies while the rest is designated for pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare investments, the statement adds.

“Healthcare companies face significant odds as they advance a promising technology towards FDA and clinical milestones crucial to a valuable exit,” commented Wende Hutton, General Partner at Canaan Partners.

“We tailor our healthcare investments to reduce risk and also to foster innovation. It’s a challenging balance, but our success demonstrates that our approach works,” added Hutton.

Since 1987, Canaan Partners has invested in technology start-ups and healthcare companies. With $3.5 billion under management and more than 85 acquisitions and 53 IPOs to date, Canaan has funded technology companies like SuccessFactors, DoubleClick (acquired by Google), (acquired by IAC), Acme Packet, Active Network and SandForce (acquired by LSI), as well as notable healthcare companies like Advanced BioHealing (acquired by Shire), AdvancePCS (acquired by Caremark), BiPar Sciences (acquired by Sanofi), Calixa Therapeutics (acquired by Cubist), Cerexa Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Forest Labs) and Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).

Recent technology investments include Tremor Video, KABAM, Lending Club,, Zoosk and Blurb in the USA; BharatMatrimony, LoyaltyRewardz, Naaptol and UnitedLex in India; and PrimeSense, LiveU and N-trig in Israel. The Canaan healthcare portfolio includes emerging leaders such as Liquidia Technologies, Theraclone Sciences, Durata, Civitas Therapeutics, Elevation Pharmaceuticals and DICOM Grid.

In India, the venture capital firm invested in two fresh deals in 2011 while it participated in four follow-on rounds of its portfolio companies. The firm led a $45 million round in Happiest Minds Technologies, an IT solutions and services start-up founded by former MindTree Ltd chairman and co-founder Ashok Soota. It also invested $4.4 million in Mumbai-based Loylty Rewardz Mngt Pvt Ltd, engaged in the development and management of consumer loyalty programmes.

While it is not immediately known how much of the global corpus will be utilised for India investments, such fundraising initiative by the global entity is significant as Canaan does not have an India-dedicated fund and invests in Indian companies from its global or centralised pool of capital.

In April last year, global investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) closed its fund Bessemer Venture Partners VIII at $1.6 billion. BVP said that about a quarter (25 per cent) of the total fund would be invested into Indian companies.

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