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March 10, 2012
SJF Ventures Announces Initial Closing of Impact Investment Fund
    by Robert Kropp

Capitalized entirely by private investment, the $75 million SJF Ventures III fund will target growth-stage cleantech companies with positive impacts on low-to-moderate income communities.

SJF Ventures, a venture capital partnership headquartered in Durham, NC, announced this week the initial closing of its SJF Ventures III fund. The fund, which is the first Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Impact Fund to be licensed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), leverages equity investments to growth-stage cleantech companies throughout the US.

"The Impact Fund targets companies that have both an impact in low-to-moderate income communities, and on environmental results through cleantech. We uniquely fit both of those," David Kirkpatrick, Founder and Managing Director of SJF Ventures, told in November.

In announcing the licensing of the fund, SBA Administrator Karen Mills said, "SJF Ventures III, LP is yet another important new ally in SBA's commitment to foster small business growth and job creation in emerging sectors. They're an experienced team that is well-positioned to drive more investment in high growth, positive impact companies."

The $75 million of investment capital raised by SJF Ventures was provided in its entirety by private investors. Capitalization of the fund was led by Citi Community Capital, with the Calvert Equity Portfolio, ImpactAssets, and Trillium Asset Management, among others, providing investment capital as well.

Kirkpatrick anticipated raising all the investment capital privately, telling in November, "We think we can raise the capital through private sources, because we're a growth equity fund. So we're an unlevered impact investing SBIC, because we don't think we'll need to tap the federal debt leverage."

Over the 12 years of its existence, SJF Ventures has invested in 34 companies employing more than 7,500 people, Kirkpatrick noted during a webinar on Thursday.

The SBIC Impact Fund is one of two programs undertaken by SBA as part of Startup America, a White House initiative designed to promote entrepreneurship through expanded access to capital and other means. The $1 Billion Early-Stage Innovation Fund matches private investment capital raised by early stage seed funds.


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