A California investment firm known most recently for its stake in Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has quickly raised $201.6 million for its 10th fund and could continue raising up to $250 million, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing made last week.
According to the filing, Avalon planned to raise at least $200 million but could continue raising up to $250 million. It just closed its $200 million ninth fund in January of last year, according to Dow Jones.
Focused on seed and early stage companies, Avalon has a portfolio that includes a mix of East and West Coast technology and life sciences startups.
Zynga has disappointed recently with lower-than-expected revenue (and a current share price of $2.81, down from $12.22 six months ago). But Avalon has had other successes such as Aurora Biosciences, which was acquired for $592 million by Vertex Pharmaceuticals back in 2001; and more recently, Amira Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $475 million last year; and BioVex Group, which was bought by Amgen for $1 billion last year, according to PE Hub.
Venture capital woes continue for the life sciences as both dollars and deals were down last quarter compared to the second quarter of last year, as reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers. But, in the first half of 2012, early stage venture funds like Avalon raised double the money they did in 2010, according to a July Dow Jones report.