Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen takes investment fund to Silicon Valley

Vulcan Capital appoints lead for Palo Alto office who helped steer General Atlantic's Facebook share purchase.

Billionaire PC pioneer and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is opening an investment office in Silicon Valley charged with seeking deals with the region's internet, software and tech companies.

The office of Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion dollar private investment arm of Allen’s Seattle-based Vulcan Inc, is set to open its doors in Palo Alto within weeks, Reuters first reported earlier today.

Vulcan later announced the appointment of Abhishek Agrawal as managing director of the office. Agrawal joins Vulcan from General Atlantic, an equity firm with $17bn capital under management, which reportedly acquired 2.5 million Facebook shares in 2011.

This Palo Alto office will be eyeing investments in the $10m to $100m range in internet and technology companies.

Vulcan currently has a number of investments in industries including energy, tech and media, including DreamWorks, Redfin and business contact manager app, Gist, which BlackBerry acquired in 2011. Others include, Avalanche and Audience.

Agrawal, who was with General Atlantic since 2005, was involved in its investments in AKQA, Alibaba Group, Bazaarvoice, Dice Holdings, Facebook, Gilt Groupe, Network Solutions, and Red Ventures, and Swedish payments start-up Klarna.

According to Vulcan Capital's chief investment officer Paul Ghaffari, the firm has a "real appetite" to add new ideas to its existing technology portfolio and have more people in Silicon Valley.

Of its new MD in Palo Alto, Ghaffari said: "Abhishek brings a dynamic investment approach to growth equity that is complementary to our existing efforts in early-stage technology and the later stage buyout markets. His stellar investment record and entrepreneurial approach will help expand our reach in multi-stage technology investments."

Agrawal added: "I am eager to oversee the strategic direction of the firm's new Palo Alto office and explore new ways to expand Vulcan's internet and technology growth investments on a global basis."

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