The $60 million North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund (VCMF) managed by Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners launched Tuesday. A portion of the state fund’s capital has been committed to Hatteras’ Fund 5, while most of the fund is allocated to co-investments in North Carolina Nexus companies.

For the purposes of the VCMF, NC Nexus companies are those that:

a) are headquartered in NC,

b) have significant operations in NC,

c) are commercializing intellectual property developed in NC, or

d) as a result of investment, would initiate, expand, or restructure significant operations in NC.

Hatteras has retained Charles Merritt as a special advisor, member of the VCMF investment committee, and a manager of the VCMF. Merritt, who was previously the co-founder and managing director of Parish Capital Advisors, will oversee the effort to identify and develop co-investment relationships with other venture capital firms and early stage investors.

John Crumpler, Hatteras general partner, said in a statement: “Hatteras has a long and successful track record investing in high quality North Carolina companies like Viamet, Clinipace, G1 Therapeutics, Medfusion, NeuroTronik, GeneCentric, and Spyryx.”

Since its inception in 2000, Hatteras Venture Partners has invested in 22 private companies either headquartered in or with substantial operations in North Carolina.

General Partner Clay Thorp, speaking to WRAL Techwire at the CED Life Science Conference in Raleigh on Tuesday, said it invested in a total of about 58 companies so far.

Investment by Hatteras in the North Carolina companies has exceeded $85 million. In turn, this investment has leveraged over $700 million of total investment in these companies by Hatteras and its many co-investors.

Through the VCMF, Hatteras will further expand the multiplication of capital for high growth NC companies through co-investments with Hatteras and other venture capital and angel investors in the State.

Hatteras closed its latest $150 million Fund 5 in January.

Thorp said the fund expects to close on another deal in a few weeks but declined to name the company. He is optimistic about the current crop of companies the venture firm sees, however.

“It is unique now, as opposed to 17 years ago, how the level of the biotech companies and their management is higher than ever,” he said. “They are asking the right questions, doing the right trials, and because of that, answers are positive more often as a result.”