Want to spot the next Tesla? Watch DBL Partners.
The “double bottom line” venture capital firm has closed DBL Partners III, its third fund, with $400 million in capital. The portfolios of DBL's previous funds include some of the most successful social ventures to date, including Tesla Motors, Solar City, Revolution Foods and Ecologic.
“The size of this fund puts impact investing squarely in the mainstream and the sustainability focus included in its mandate puts to rest any concerns that the time for clean energy investing has passed,” said Nancy Pfund, managing partner and founder at DBL. “Building great companies that also help to solve some of the core challenges of our age is not an oxymoron as some would posit – in our view, these goals go hand-in-hand and there is no sacrifice.”
The new fund will target sustainable energy, products and services, digital media and imaging, health care, and IT. Pfund and the team, which includes partners from Technology Partners’ energy practice, have already made five investments since the fund's first close in December. Among the new investments, courtesy of GreenTechMedia:
Advanced Microgrid Solutions: AMS describes its offering as a hybrid-electric building project, which will provide grid support to utilities. Susan Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of AMS, said, “Equipping a building with the technology to store and manage its own electricity turns that building into a standalone storage unit,” adding, “Combine a dozen buildings into a fleet, and you have the utility equivalent of a peaker plant.”
The RealReal: An online luxury consignment store that is part of the “circular economy” and is “growing like a weed,” according to Pfund.
The Muse: Pfund described this female-founded startup as “LinkedIn for millennials.”
Mapbox: A startup designing custom maps for third-party apps with a recent $52 million investment from DFJ Growth, Foundry Group, DBL Partners, Thrive Capital and the Pritzker Group.
DBL's earlier investments have helped power the U.S's clean energy expansion, via Tesla's electric vehicles and and batteries and SolarCity's solar finance and installation model. DBL says its investments have helped create more than 30,000 jobs.