.406 Ventures raises new $217m fund for early stage enterprise startups

An outdated Ted Williams contact from <a href= http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/07/14/globe-sports-rolodex-treasure-trove-sports-history/B07xEyyDOKy79uFhSa0fxH/story.html>the Globe sports department's ancient rolodex</a>. (The number's disconnected.)
An outdated Ted Williams contact from the Globe sports department's ancient rolodex. (The number's disconnected.)

Venture capital firm .406 Ventures has raised its third pool of investment cash, pulling together a new $217 million fund earmarked for early stage companies in digital security and other behind-the-scenes tech sectors.

.406, led by managing partners Liam Donohue and Maria Cirino, wears its Boston roots on its sleeve — the name is taken from Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams’s record batting average in 1941.

Its investments also have a Boston flavor, shunning consumer technology, gaming, social media, and other eye-catching sectors in favor of enterprise companies in the security, health care tech, data analytics software, and online infrastructure industries.

While .406 will write checks to startups in other cities, “I’d say about two-thirds of the portfolio we’d expect to be in the Boston metro area,” Donohue said.

The security focus in particular appears to be well-timed, with the broader tech and investment markets paying increasing attention to growing private companies that offer digital security software.

Rapid7, a Boston-based security company, saw its stock soar 58 percent in an initial public offering last week, just days after Irvine, Calif.-based security startup CrowdStrike secured a $100 million investment led by Google Capital.

Two Boston-area security companies from the first .406 Ventures fund, Veracode and Bit9, have raised multiple rounds of venture capital and are considered IPO candidates.

Cirino, who was previously the co-founder and chief executive of a security startup acquired by VeriSign for $142 million, says prospective investors in the firm used to question whether security startups were really a good bet for heavy VC funding.

“Nobody says that anymore,” she said. “They say ‘This is not going away, and we love that you guys have a big focus on it.’ ”

.406 Ventures was founded in 2006. Its previous fund of over $175 million was raised in 2012.