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Boston's Third Rock Ventures opening San Francisco outpost

Posted by Scott Kirsner  August 12, 2010 11:33 AM

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Third Rock Ventures, the life sciences venture capital firm based on Newbury Street, is planning to open a small San Francisco office next month. The new office, in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, will house a principal and a partner who are moving out from Boston, and a new partner being hired on the west coast, according to chief financial officer Kevin Gillis. Third Rock, founded in 2007, launched with a $378 million investment fund, and is currently out raising a $400 million fund.

Third Rock principal Jake Bauer will move out to San Francisco, but Gillis wasn't ready to name the two partners who'll run the office, saying that a press release is planned for early September.

Two current Third Rock investments, Ablexis and Afferent Pharmaceutcials, are based in Northern California, and Gillis says the firm will likely make another California investment this year. "Our comfort zone and our networks are stronger here in the Cambridge area," Gillis says, anticipating that the firm will do about one deal a year in the Bay area. "In addition to just doing deals, the San Francisco presence is also about recruiting people for our companies," he says.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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