Alta Partners is a life-science only investing firm, funding over 130 companies in the industry. Since its inception, Alta has raised seven funds, and currently manages $2 billion in capital. In 1996 the firm started out in early stage investing. Since then, however, the group expanded to include later stage investing with the formation of Alta BioPharma I, a fund focused on growth stage private companies and young public companies in the life sciences sector. According to the firm's site, Alta invest only in those areas where its staff have specific expertise. The group takes an active roll in managing its portfolio companies. It prefer to act as lead investor in its chosen investments and often takes a seat on its companies boards, where its partners can provide strategic, operational and financial advice. Past Alta Partners investments include Genentech, Chiron, Cephalon, deCODE genetics and Affymetrix.