Allos Ventures plans $50M-plus VC fund, adds director

Carmel-based venture capital firm Allos Ventures plans to launch its third and biggest fund to date while also hiring its third managing director.

The 8-year-old firm, which focuses on investing in early-stage Midwestern tech companies, this week filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $50 million to $100 million for the new fund.

David Kerr mugDavid Kerr

The firm also said it hired former Octiv CEO David Kerr, who will join Allos founders Don Aquilano and John McIlwraith as managing directors.

Allos raised $23 million for its first fund, Allos 1, in 2010, and $40 million for its second fund, Allos 2, in 2013.

The company has made investments in at least 30 companies since its founding, including Assurex Health, Aprimo, Blue Pillar, Bolstra, Emplify, Lessonly, Lumavate, Octiv, OneCause, Weblink, eTapestry and WebMD.

Previous fund investors include a number of wealthy tech entrepreneurs and institutional investors such as the Indiana University Foundation and Purdue University

Allos typically invests $3 million to $7 million in individual companies.

Kerr spent almost four years as an exec with Indianapolis-based Octiv and became CEO in January 2017. The tech firm was acquired in April by Conga, a Colorado-based document-automation firm.

Prior to Octiv, Kerr held senior executive positions with Groupon, Angie’s List and GHX.

“To have someone of David’s caliber joining the firm is momentous,” Aquilano said. “His depth of leadership experience building startup and mature software companies will be of enormous value to us and the companies in which we invest.”

Longtime local tech veteran Mark Hill, an investor and adviser to Allos, said it was important to have Allos and other local venture capital options such as High Alpha, Hyde Park and Elevate Ventures.

“That creates a more competitive dynamic for the companies that are actually raising money,” said Hill, who co-founded financial software firm Baker Hill in Carmel in 1983 and sold it to Experian PLC for an estimated $75 million in 2005.

Experts say firms like Allos play an important role for early-stage companies that need large sums of capital to operate but haven’t yet begun bringing in a great deal of revenue.

“Working with the team at Allos through my time with Octiv gave me a glimpse into the major impact the firm continues to make in Midwest tech,” Kerr said in written remarks. “By partnering with [software as a service] leaders from our portfolio companies and working to broaden investments to newly maturing tech markets throughout Indiana and the Midwest, my goal is to help expand that ripple effect.”

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