Monday, July 03, 2006

Silicon Valley's DFJ raises largest clean-tech 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."

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