Moneta Ventures LP in Folsom launched a new $19 million venture capital fund, which seeks to make early stage investments in Northern California technology companies.
The fund completed its initial close of funds April 30 with $19 million, said Lokesh Sikaria, general partner.
Sikaria intends to invest in companies outside of the Bay Area or Los Angeles.
“We feel that there are a lot of deserving companies that cannot find funding,” he said of areas of California under-served by venture capital. It could also invest in Silicon Valley companies, which it would move to Folsom.
The fund seeks to invest in software, cloud services, internet and consumer services. He would also like to see the companies move to Folsom or nearby to grow the technology community here.
“When you get them to relocate, it helps the ecosystem here,” he said.
Sikaria, 43, has been in Folsom since 1994 when he was engaged as a Price Waterhouse consultant with Intel Corp. in Folsom. Most recently, he was the founder and CEO of Sparta Consulting, which was a Folsom-based systems integrator for SAP AG software systems. Though based in Folsom, Sparta’s clients were spread nationwide. Sparta was bought in 2009 by KPIT Cummins in an earnout for $38 million, which ended last year.
Sikaria has been working on the new fund for five months, hoping originally to raise $12 million for a micro-fund. At the closing, many of his previous associates joined the fund, which is made up only of accredited investors.
The fund seeks companies that have revenue of between $500,000 and $5 million, so it is not seeking startups. “It is not seed stage,” he said. “It is sprout stage.”
Though considered a micro-fund in Silicon Valley, Moneta is currently the largest actively investing fund in the region. Most of the funds in the region have expended or committed nearly all of their investment capital.
Originally from India, Sikaria first came to the U.S. in 1985. He studied electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California Berkeley.
The fund is named after the Roman god Juno Moneta, the protector of funds. The English word for money derives from the Latin Moneta.