Diverse Board and Matching Funds from Leading Venture Capital Firms Provide Economic and Environmental Benefits for State
March 14, 2005 - San Francisco, CA - The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a new $30 million public benefit investment fund created as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy settlement, today announced agreements with three leading venture capital firms: Nth Power, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and VantagePoint Venture Partners. These venture funds, with combined assets under management of $6 billion, will bring added value to CalCEF including matching funds and access to key strategic partners. The purpose of the evergreen non-profit Fund is not only to make attractive investments, but also to provide an engine of economic growth while reducing California’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“With this new Fund, we have the opportunity to shape the future of clean energy investments by demonstrating wins for both investors and our environment,” said Michael R. Peevey, chairman of CalCEF and President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
CalCEF’s cross-disciplined Board of Directors enables a focus on this promising investment sector in ways that a traditional fund cannot. “This Board, which blends public policy makers, investment professionals, entrepreneurs, and science and technology experts, is uniquely able to meet this investment challenge,” said Lisa Bicker, president of CalCEF. “The time is right for clean energy investing and CalCEF can be the change agent that leads the way.”
CalCEF Investment Strategy
CalCEF’s investment strategy will focus exclusively on clean energy, including renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage, and enabling technologies and services. Under the terms of the agreements, the venture capital firms will make equity investments in clean energy companies on behalf of CalCEF. By working with three highly qualified investment firms, each with their own investment expertise, CalCEF can take a blended approach to the market that mitigates risk and maximizes returns. The goal is to support a wide range of opportunities, including both later stage and early stage opportunities, where CalCEF funding will make a difference.
CalCEF has allocated $8.5 million to each of the three funds for a total of $25.5 million. Nth Power and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) will each directly manage an investment portfolio totaling $8.5 million, with Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s allocation to be managed through DFJ AltaTerra, a DFJ affiliate fund launched to make investments in the clean technology sector. These managers will also match each dollar invested on behalf of CalCEF with its own investments in order to maximize market impact. CalCEF will also participate as a limited partner in VantagePoint Venture Partners. The remaining $4.5 million has been reserved by the CalCEF Board for future program development.
Nth Power estimates that venture capitalists invested approximately $500 million in US-based energy-tech companies in 2004, representing well over 2% of all VC investing. California is well positioned to take the lead in this emerging market thanks to its strong technology base, entrepreneurial talent, access to capital and enlightened environmental policies.
“Clean technologies – including clean energy technologies – are emerging as one of the most exciting and promising sectors for investment,” said Raj Atluru, Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “DFJ has consistently been a leader in identifying and capitalizing on emerging investment areas, and we are excited to work with CalCEF as we launch DFJ AltaTerra as a new venture fund dedicated to clean technologies.”
“Nth Power is excited to serve as one of CalCEF’s managers,” said Tim Woodward, Managing Director, “and will work closely with the CalCEF board to meet its investment strategy.” Woodward added, “Nth Power’s extensive deal flow and investment experience will give CalCEF’s program a critical jump start in the market.”
Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners commented, “We are delighted to have CalCEF as a Strategic Limited Partner. VantagePoint believes CleanTech is an increasingly important investment sector. We look forward to working with the CalCEF Board and with Nth and DFJ to commercialize technologies that will increase renewable energy utilization and bring new jobs to California and the other states that support this important growth industry.”
CalCEF is a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to making equity investments in clean energy companies. Established via the PG&E bankruptcy settlement, the Fund was created to deliver market based financial returns and positive environmental and economic returns to the PG&E service territory by providing an economic engine of growth and environmental improvements. CalCEF targets companies focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and other products and services that are designed to enhance the clean energy sector. Profits will be reinvested in the Fund.
The CalCEF Board of Directors blends public policy makers, investment professionals, entrepreneurs, and science and technology experts. Chaired by Michael R. Peevey, President of the California PUC, the Board also includes California Energy Commissioner Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld; Dr. Mark Levine of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; energy executive and former venture capitalist Mason Willrich; entrepreneurs John Woolard and Tom Jacoby; Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC); JPMorgan managing director Nancy Pfund; and former white house policy official Jonathan Foster. More information: www.calcef.org.
About Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the leader in seed stage and early stage venture capital. Since 1985, Draper Fisher Jurvetson has created a global network of affiliated venture funds with over $3 billion in capital commitments and offices in the major technology centers around the world. DFJ has proven expertise in identifying and helping extraordinary entrepreneurs who want to change the world. DFJ has launched DFJ AltaTerra as an affiliate venture fund focused on the clean technology sector. For more information, visit: www.dfj.com
About Nth Power
Nth Power focuses on high-growth investment opportunities in the trillion-dollar global energy and utility marketplace. Nth Power began investing in 1997 and has over $250 million under management, with investments in energy intelligence, power reliability, distributed generation and related services. Nth Power's industry partners include leading electric and gas service providers and equipment manufacturers from around the world. More information: www.nthpower.com.
About VantagePoint Venture Partners
VantagePoint Venture Partners is among the most active and successful venture firms in the world with more than $2.8 billion of capital under management. The Firm invests exclusively in technology driven companies and is organized around deep expertise and resources in five principal areas of interest: Semiconductors, Software and Internet, Communications and Systems, Healthcare, and CleanTech. VantagePoint is a multi-stage investor, investing in high growth businesses at all stages of development. The Firm believes in applying an active, hands-on and team oriented approach to businesses not only at the traditional early stage, but throughout a company’s progression to scale. The Firm supports each of its portfolio companies with the resources of a dedicated team of VantagePoint professionals able to contribute a blend of company building, technology, operations, marketing, and corporate finance expertise. For more information, visit www.vpvp.com.