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Sheila Gulati
Sheila Gulati

Tola Ventures co-founder Sheila Gulati is not saying much about her Seattle firm, with the former investment banker and ex-Microsoft manager giving me a polite no comment when contacted about recent fundraising efforts.

But it appears as if things are going well for Gulati. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week indicates that Tola Ventures has raised $202 million, part of a larger fundraising effort that could reach $225 million.

A fund of that size is certainly nothing to sneeze at, since Bellevue-based Ignition Partners earlier this year closed its sixth fund right at $200 million.

Gulati may not be well known in startup circles, but she has been making investments for several years, with the firm’s Web site listing a portfolio of 14 companies, including Seattle area startups SpaceCurve, Indix and Opstera (acquired by Avanade).

We first reported on Gulati’s fundraising efforts last fall when she and partner Stacey Giard — also ex-Microsoft — raised $33 million for Tola Capital.

It is unclear whether Tola Capital and Tola Ventures are the same entity, and whether the previously reported $33 million is part of the new fund.

“Tola Capital is focused on the opportunity as enterprise software transitions to the cloud,” Gulati told GeekWire last fall. “We look forward to engaging with firms in this space to apply mid-stage funding, our expertise and our network to help them achieve a new level of growth.”

She declined further comment.

The Tola Capital Web site offers a little more detail, noting that the firm is chasing deals in the cloud computing and enterprise software arena, an especially hot segment in Seattle where companies such as Apptio, Concur, Chef, Extrahop and others have met with success.

The Web site notes:

Due to our singular focus on the enterprise software industry, we have an extremely deep understanding of the landscape and trends. Enterprise software is currently undergoing a full-scale transition, as the cloud platform becomes business-mainstream, and we are focused on this once-in-a-generation investment opportunity.

As we noted earlier this week, the market for venture capital firms to raise money is improving. A total of 74 VC funds raised $10.3 billion in cash in the second quarter, a 27 percent increase in dollars over the same period last year.

Even more interestingly, 31 of the 74 funds were dubbed “new funds” — up significantly from the previous quarter (19 new funds) and the same period last year (23 new funds).


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