Santa Monica-based venture capital firm March Capital Partners has closed on its second fund, a $300 million vehicle focused on tech investment.

The company said fund contributors included both existing and new investors, and that it was looking to build on the success of the firm’s inaugural $240 million fund formed in 2016.

March Capital Partners is also expanding its team. Meredith Finn, previously of San Francisco-based venture capital firm Salesforce Ventures, was added as a partner. Additionally, the firm said it was shaking up its internal roster, promoting Jed Leidheiser from vice president to partner.

Finn was a key member of Salesforce Ventures, launching the Salesforce Impact Fund. She is relocating from New York to Los Angeles. Leidheiser has more than 13 years of experience in enterprise technology.

“We’re excited about the Southern California ecosystem and how it’s continuing to evolve,” said Jamie Montgomery, founder and managing director of March Capital.

March Capital primarily invests in consumer technology, industrial “internet of things” infrastructure – i.e., technology that enhances industrial and manufacturing processes – and enterprise artificial-intelligence products.

Montgomery described its ideal investment as at least “20 to 25 percent ownership of the company, if we come in early,” and noted that in a given year, the firm evaluates a couple thousand deals but typically consummates about a half-dozen.

One of March Capital Partners’ most recent local exits was TeleSign Corp., a fraud mitigation and business communication software developer based in Marina del Rey. The company was purchased for $230 million in October 2017 by Belgacom International Carrier Services, or BICS, which is a joint venture of Belgium-based telecommunications firm Proximus Group, Switzerland-based telecommunications firm Swisscom, and South African mobile giant MTN Group Ltd.

March Capital has also seen portfolio company exits from Marina del Rey-based Awesome Sauce Labs Inc., makers of surveillance drones, and mobile game developer Muti Labs Inc., based in Santa Monica.

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Hartree, Oaktree to Fund Bulk Liquids Storage

Funds managed by downtown-based alternative investment firm Oaktree Capital Management and New York-based Hartree Partners agreed to invest up to $735 million to form a bulk liquids storage company.

The new company, Hartree Bulk Storage, will be headquartered in New York and capitalize on global demand for bulk liquids storage infrastructure via mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and new facilities.

Hartree Bulk Storage will work with refiners, petrochemical manufacturers, marketers, and producers of crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids, and other bulk liquids.

“Oaktree is very pleased to expand our partnership with Hartree,” said Rajath Shourie, managing director at Oaktree in a statement.

Oaktree, which had $124 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, formed its initial partnership with Hartree in early 2015 when Oaktree funds bought Hess Corp.’s stake in Hess Energy Trading Co.

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Levine Leichtman Buys SK AeroSafety

Beverly Hills-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners purchased passenger aircraft safety testing firm SK AeroSafety from Dutch-based SK FireSafety Group, a portfolio company of Apax Partners in London.

“We look forward to continuing to grow the business both through further acquisitions as well as by expanding our service offering at our existing locations,” SK AeroSafety Chief Executive Chris Wright said in a statement.

The company reports a global customer base of more than 700 airlines, service providers and maintenance organizations. Its testing services extend to any safety features on passenger aircraft. 

Levine Leichtman has more than $10 billion in managed institutional capital since its 1984 inception and has offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, in addition to its Beverly Hills headquarters.

Wouter Snoeijers, managing director of Levine Leichtman, said in a statement the firm is “proud to invest in a company that enables millions of passengers to fly safely every year and (looks) forward to supporting its continued growth and success.”

Have a deal tip? Pat Maio can be reached at pmaio@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8329.

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