One of the most prominent biotech incubators in the venture business has launched a new $350 million fund to help fuel a new wave of startups. Atlas Venture partners say that they plan to continue to be guided by their motto and mission: doing well by doing good.
Based in Kendall Square, the group includes some well-known veterans. They include Jean-François Formela, Jason Rhodes, Bruce Booth, and David Grayzel. Kevin Bitterman was recently wooed in from Polaris, another startup specialist. And with the debut of Fund XI, Peter Barrett will transition to a venture partner role.
Sometimes, Atlas likes to join in with a syndicate to match a big play, like the high-flying launch of Magenta, run by GSK vet Jason Gardner. The partners are known for grooming talent. But they love nothing better than going with the pros that have made them money, as Michael Gilman knows after two earlier companies were bought up. Gilman told me recently that he’s been working with the Atlas crowd on another startup after launching Arrakis with a venture round led by Canaan.
More than anything, the crew at Atlas love a big score with a great multiple. So when Celgene came along earlier in the year with a $775 million buyout deal for Delinia just months after its debut (with $300 million in cash on the table), they were ready to sign off.
Said Atlas partner Jean-François Formela:
The deep support shown by limited partners who have invested alongside us for multiple funds, as well as by those that are joining us for the first time, is a strong validation of our model.
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