A Durham venture fund company that invests in businesses in the clean tech sector has launched its third fund.
At $75 million, SJF Ventures' newest fund will be twice as big as the previous two funds combined, said company co-founder David Kirkpatrick.
The new fund, called SJF Ventures III, has raised about half the money it needs towards its $75 million target. The lead investor is Citi Community Capital, an investing group within Citi, the New York investment bank.
SJF, with six employees and satellite offices in San Francisco and New York, invests in companies that specialize in recycling, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainability and related technologies. SJF requires a minimum investment of $250,000 for individual investors and $2 million for institutional investors.
SJF's goal is a fivefold investment return. Its fund performance is rated in the top 10 percent of venture funds by the year they were founded, according to Cambridge Associates, an investment advisor to foundations and private investors. Only one of the 33 companies SJF has backed has gone out of business, Kirkpatrick said.
The funds are established for a decade, with extensions up to three years. The first fund, for example, was formed in 1999 and invested in 19 companies. Most of those companies have been sold.
SJF sold five companies in the past year and a half and made a return on the investment, Kirkpatrick said.