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Frank Artale

Ignition Partners has experienced a number of transformations over the years, launching a fund in China and debuting a fund just for later-stage deals. Now, the Bellevue venture capital firm — a backer of Splunk, Hipmunk, DocuSign and others — is getting ready for its biggest change yet.

The firm, which is currently in the process of raising a fund in the $150 million to $200 million range, has reorganized around two key partners. Those include former Citrix executive Frank Artale and former Microsoft CFO John Connors, with venture capitalist Nick Sturiale also expected to join the partnership if the new fund closes. (Sturiale, who sits on the board of Splunk with Connors, is currently listed as a venture consultant at Jafco Ventures)

The remaining partners at will not be part of the legal entity being created with Ignition’s newest fund, the firm’s fifth. However, a source tells GeekWire that many of those partners — including Michelle Goldberg, Cam Myhrvold, Steve Hooper and others—  could still have affiliate roles with the firm.

We’ve heard rumors about the changes going on at Ignition for months now, hearing that a splinter group of partners could be forming a seed-stage fund.  But the news was first reported today by Dan Primack at Fortune, who noted in his report that Ignition’s Brad Silverberg, a former Microsoft VP, may try to raise a consumer-focused venture capital fund.

We’re told that Ignition will continue to invest nationally, making bets in the areas of enterprise software, big data and cloud computing. That’s an area of expertise for Artale and Connors, and it’s also where the firm has seen the bulk of its success with positive outcomes around Splunk (which went public) and StorSimple (which was acquired by Microsoft).

The reorganization is the latest change in the Pacific Northwest venture capital market, following news last year that Madrona Venture Group raised a $300 million fund and that OVP Venture Partners planned to wind down operations.

If successful on the fundraising trail, Igniton’s new fund would be about half of the $400 million that it raised in 2007.

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