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The Ignition team: Frank Artale, John Connors and Nick Sturiale
The Ignition team: Frank Artale, John Connors and Nick Sturiale

Ignition, the Bellevue venture capital firm led by former Microsoft executives Frank Artale and John Connors as well as Silicon Valley venture capitalist Nick Sturiale, is looking to raise a new $200 million venture fund. The fund, dubbed Ignition Venture Partners VI, appears to be in the early-stages of formation, according to an SEC filing.

We’ve reached out to Ignition for comment about the new fund, and we’ll update this post as we learn more.

Ignition’s last fund — raised in 2013 — registered at $150 million. The firm raised a $400 million fund for early-stage investments in 2007, as well as a $275 million for later-stage growth equity deals.

ignition-logo5555Originally founded in 2000 by former Microsoft and McCaw Cellular executives, Ignition has morphed and changed over the years. Nearly all of the original partners — including Brad Silverberg, John Ludwig, Steve Hooper and Jonathan Roberts — have moved on from the day-to-day operations of the firm.

Ignition has tightened its focus over the years, and now the firm almost exclusively backs emerging enterprise software companies. A number of those startups are based in Silicon Valley, though Connors has said he plans to spend more of his time looking for deals in the Seattle area.

Ignition’s recent Seattle area investments include Azuqua, Tempered Networks and Tellwise. The firm also has some hot startups on the brink of public offerings, such as DocuSign, the electronic signature powerhouse which splits its operations between Seattle and San Francisco. Past exits for the firm include enterprise software maker Splunk, which went public in April 2012 and is now valued at $7.2 billion, and Parse, which was acquired by Facebook in April 2013.

Enterprise software is area of expertise for Artale, a former general manager in the Windows 2000 group at Microsoft who went on to hold executive positions at Xensource and Citrix, as well as Connors, the former CFO at Microsoft. Artale joined Ignition in 2011, while Connors hooked up with the firm in 2005. Sturiale, who previously worked at Icon Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds, was an early investor in Splunk, Hightail and XenSource. He joined in 2013 when the firm raised its fifth fund, bolstering ties to Silicon Valley.

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