Venture capital firm DFJ Element has raised a record-sized fund for investing in green technology companies, the latest sign that this area is red-hot.
The fund, an affiliate of well-known Silicon Valley firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, raised $284 million, almost double the target of $150 million it set last year — in part because of the keen interest by investors.
The firm has offices in Menlo Park and in Pennsylvania, and is run by two partners in Silicon Valley, and three in Pennsylvania, according to partner David Lincoln. The firm has earmarked a maximum of $40 million for investing abroad.
Things are moving so quickly that its DFJ’s own press release (see extended entry below) is outdated. The firm has now made five investments, not four. Additionally, the firm has extended four other investment offers to companies, so more annoucements coming soon, Lincoln said.
DFJ ELEMENT, L.P.
CLOSES $284 MILLION CLEANTECH VENTURE FUND
Menlo Park, California, June 28, 2006 — DFJ Element, L.P., a venture capital fund formed to invest in clean technology companies, has closed with a total of $284 million in capital commitments from a broad range of leading institutional investors. Lehman Brothers Private Fund Marketing Group served as exclusive global placement agent for the Fund.
DFJ Element was formed by Element Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading global venture capital firm. DFJ Element will invest in companies bringing innovative solutions to environmental and resource constraints in energy, water and other large industrial and commercial markets. The Fund has already invested in four companies: CoalTek, Inc., a developer of clean coal technology; Fat Spaniel Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of critical IT infrastructure for distributed power generation specializing in renewable energy technologies; Miartech, Inc., a mixed-signal fabless semiconductor design company initially focusing on the power line communications market; and EcoSMART Technologies, Inc., which has developed a line of break-through products in the organic pesticide markets.
DFJ Element had an initial target of $150 million. The Fund was well oversubscribed with a final closing of $284 million. “There is an enormous investment potential in the growing number of companies bringing innovation and technology solutions to global environmental issues,” said David Lincoln, managing partner of the Fund. “As the commercial importance of these issues is increasingly coming to light, institutional investors are recognizing the opportunity to participate in the rapid growth of the clean technology industry.”
Limited partners in the new fund include CalPERS, Swiss Re, Coca Cola, ITT, Robeco, LA City Employees Retirement System, WP Global, and British Airways to name a few.
“Our clients are increasingly interested in the emerging cleantech markets and we are delighted with the results we were able to produce for DFJ Element,” said Christopher Kirsten, managing director of Lehman Brothers and Head of Private Fund Marketing. “The quality of this team and their track record garnered tremendous interest in the Fund from the limited partner community. Accordingly we lifted the original cap to accommodate the demand.”
Element Venture Partners was formed by a group of well-known industry investors who previously worked with leading venture capital firms, Advent International and EnerTech Capital Partners. Collectively, the team has managed four prior venture capital funds and has a track record of success investing in clean technology companies since 1995. In aggregate they have invested more than $225 million in over 40 companies in the cleantech sector.
Element has offices in Radnor, Pennsylvania and Menlo Park, California and is affiliated with Draper Fisher Jurvetson enabling it to take advantage of DFJ’s established global network, strong deal flow and reputation as a leading early stage investor. Said DFJ Managing Director Raj Atluru, We recognized the tremendous growth and opportunity in cleantech back in 2001 and have been actively investing ever since. We are excited about our partnership with Element and our role in the launching of one of the premier funds in the space. DFJ Element is an important and strategic addition to the growing DFJ affiliate network worldwide.”
About DFJ Element
DFJ Element is a leading venture capital fund focused on clean technology. The Fund invests in emerging companies bringing innovative solutions to environmental and resource constraints in energy, water and other large industrial and commercial markets. Formed in 2005 by Element Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Element is managed by the industry’s most experienced group of dedicated clean technology investors.
Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the only venture capital firm with global presence through a network of affiliated funds, with offices in more than 30 cities around the world and more than $3.5 billion in capital commitments. DFJ’s mission is to identify, serve and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back approximately 300 companies across many sectors including such industry changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Interwoven (IWOV), 411 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID). For more information, visit: www.dfj.com.
About Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers (ticker symbol: LEH), an innovator in global finance, serves the financial needs of corporations, governments and municipalities, institutional clients and high net worth individuals worldwide. For further information about Lehman Brothers’ services, products and recruitment opportunities, visit the Firm’s Web site at www.lehman.com.
About Lehman Brothers Private Fund Marketing:
Lehman Brothers Private Fund Marketing, part of the Private Equity business of Lehman Brothers, has 20 investment professionals located in New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Tokyo and the Middle East.
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