May 04, 2013
More than $90 Million Invested in SJF Ventures Fund
by Robert Kropp
SJF Ventures, a sustainable venture capital partnership, conducts the final closing of its SJF
Ventures III fund with more than $90 million in equity investments in cleantech and
Sustainable investment has maintained an upward trajectory in the US for the past decade, as the
annual reports from US SIF – The Forum for
Sustainable and Responsible Investment have documented. The organization's 2012 Trends Report
identified assets totaling $3.74 trillion that are devoted to sustainable investment strategies.
The majority of sustainable assets in
the US remain invested according to such negative screening policies as those relating to Sudan,
both US SIF and Krosinsky report. Krosinsky of Trucost wrote in his foreword to the book Evolutions
in Sustainable Investment: Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership, "Take a purely values-based
approach, and you risk missing the very same practical opportunities in eco-efficiency and
innovation, where the sustainability we require will come from."
Still, as Cary Krosinsky, the Executive Director of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (NSFM), wrote in a recent white paper,
only $400B of that amount is invested according to positive strategies that identify best
performers or other sustainability factors.
One venture capital
partnership that takes eco-efficiency and innovation seriously is SJF Ventures. The firm focuses its investment strategies on
companies in the resource efficiency and technology-enhanced services sectors. One company in which
SJF has invested, eRecyclingCorps, announced earlier this year that it has completed 10 million
wireless device trade-ins since its launch in 2009.
eRecyclingCorps was a constituent in
the portfolio of the SJF Ventures II fund, which raised $28 million for investment in companies
that meet the firm's sustainability criteria. As successful as that fund has been, its size is
dwarfed by the SJF Ventures III fund. This week, SJF Ventures announced the final closing on the
new fund, which has attracted more than $90 million in capital commitments. The fund is the first
Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Impact Fund to be licensed by the Small Business
Among the institutional investors in the fund are Calvert Investments and Trillium Asset Management.
The original target
for SJF Ventures III was $75 million. "We are honored that so many investors choose to join our
partnership," said David Kirkpatrick, SJF Managing Director, noting that SJF Ventures II is
performing in the top quartile of all US venture capital funds.
Last March, when SJF
Ventures announced the initial closing of its SJF Ventures III fund, Kirkpatrick reported that the
firm had invested in 34 companies employing more than 7,500 people.
In November, SJF
Ventures received the annual award for best impact investing product from TBLI Group, a
Netherlands-based sustainable finance consultant.
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