MN Venture Firm Raising $100M to Invest in Med-Tech Cos.

SightLine Partners is raising money for a venture fund that will invest in later-stage medical device companies.

Minneapolis-based venture capital firm SightLine Partners is in the process of raising money for a $100 million fund, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

SightLine focuses exclusively on the medical device industry.

Buzz Benson, managing director at SightLine, told Twin Cities Business that he has already secured a portion of the $100 million and expects to finish the fundraising by the end of the year.

He said the fund will invest in later-stage medical device companies across the country but declined to reveal how much he has raised so far or offer any more specifics due to SEC regulations.

According to its website, SightLine's funds seek to invest in companies with “unique and proprietary technologies that address significant unmet needs in high-value therapeutic areas, such as vascular diseases, spine, stroke prevention, and treatment for pulmonary disease.”

SightLine's funds have collectively invested in more than 70 companies nationwide, including Maple Grove-based CVRx, Inc., Minnetonka-based Anulex Technologies, Inc., and St. Paul-based Acorn Cardiovascular, Inc.

News of SightLine's fund comes at a time when venture capital firms across the country are struggling to raise money. In the first quarter of 2012, 42 firms in the United States collectively raised $4.9 billion-down 35 percent compared to the amount of money raised a year ago, according to a Star Tribune report. Raising venture funds to finance medical technology start-ups has been especially difficult because institutional investors worry that they won't get paid fast or generously enough for the risk they are taking, the newspaper reported.