SAN DIEGO-A Dallas-based venture capital firm, known as a high roller in funding for technology start-ups, is establishing an office in San Diego. The firm, Sevin Rosen Funds, has already added three San Diego high-tech firms to its portfolio: Optical Micro-Machines, Silicon Wave and LightPointe Communications.

SRF partner Steve Domenik, who will head up the San Diego office, is currently working from San Diego, overseeing the firm’s investments there, but plans to open an office by the end of January, according to a company spokesperson. Two of these firms, OMM and Silicon Wave recently announced plans to go public. OMM manufactures MEMS-based photonic switching subsystems and Silicon Wave produces blue-tooth chips, the basis for the next generation of wireless communication technology.

SRF recently closed an $875 million fund, which the firm plans to invest in companies engaged in new technology development. SRF, which previously bankrolled major technology firms such as Compaq Computer Corp., Lotus Development, DIENA Corp and Cypress Semiconductor, has invested nearly $2 billion in start-ups so far. The firm’s portfolio includes developers of software, semiconductors and computer hardware.

Funding for startups has been tight, with tech stocks on a downward spiral over the past six months and then recently taking a nosedive. Domenik says, however, that his firm’s investment decisions don’t hinge on what’s happening nationally in the marketplace. He notes though that firm is only interested in R&D companies with the resources to continue to conceptualize and generate new technologies.

Sevin Rosen’s decision to move here is being viewed as another indicator of the county’s growing strength as an emerging technology center. According to published reports, this is just one of a number of venture capitalists that have recently moved into the area or are contemplating opening offices here.

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