Specialty finance company Hercules Technology Growth Capital expanded into Southern California, the third largest U.S. venture capital investment region. Tim Barnes, a former Silicon Valley Bank vice president, has joined Hercules’ investment team as a managing director to lead the new Los Angeles office, which will cover the Southern California region.

The expansion is part of Hercules’ planned growth strategy and provides geographic penetration and support for Southern California where the company is currently underrepresented. The Southern California region received more than $4 billion in venture capital-based investments in 2014, and has already received more than $4 billion in venture capital-based investments during the first half of 2015, as reported by Dow Jones VentureSource in Q2/2015. The new Los Angeles office complements Hercules’ long standing position in the venture capital strongholds of Silicon Valley, New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

“Growth is the cornerstone of our long-term strategy and today’s announcement marks an exciting chapter for Hercules on that mandate,” stated Manuel A. Henriquez, chairman and chief executive officer of Hercules. “A presence in Los Angeles will enable us to better meet the growing demand from venture-capital backed companies who seek alternatives to equity financing in this important region. I am also very pleased to have Tim lead this very important initiative. He is an extraordinary leader with a proven track record and a wealth of experience in venture debt.”

Barnes is a seasoned executive, with almost a decade of experience originating, structuring and underwriting senior bank debt facilities for venture-backed and private equity-backed technology and life science companies. Most recently, Barnes served as vice president at Silicon Valley Bank in Los Angeles, and was responsible for sourcing, underwriting and managing a credit portfolio of commercial, venture debt and asset-based loans. Previously, Barnes served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, with completed assignments at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles and 355th Fighter Wing in Tucson, AZ.