WSJ raises questions about Mobius Venture Capital

Rebecca Buckman wrote about the seemingly impending breakup of Mobius Venture Capital on the front-page of the Wall Street Journal Markets section this morning. Buckman cites “people familiar with the matter” saying Managing Director Brad Feld may break off and form his own fund, bringing a few people from Mobius with him. Mobius raised a $630 million fund in 1999 and a $1.25 billion fund in 2000. The firm does not plan to raise another fund and the article cites investors saying the funds are “well underwater”

Mobius invested in blog and feed syndication firms FeedBurner, NewsGator, and Technorati. The fund has some promising investments in cell phone maker Danger, optical networking company Infinera, anti-spam service Postini, and e-mail certification company Return Path. Mobius has 47 other portfolio companies of varying returns.

What do the rumored changes mean for companies such as FeedBurner, NewsGator, and Technorati? Feld told the Wall Street Journal the firm Mobius would continue its support of existing portfolio companies but did not comment on his future plans.

Venture capital trends

The rate of new funds has declined, and the Journal predicts a general shake-up in the industry as failed partners will not continue to receive large investments from large investors such as university endowments and retirement plans as the industry undergoes a shake-up.