About: Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) backs extraordinary entrepreneurs everywhere who set out to change the world. DFJ achieves its mission through its DFJ Global Network of Partner Funds. Together, DFJ and the Network manage over $6B and have made more than 600 investments on four continents. With a 24-year history (since its founding in 1985) of success across diverse sectors and market conditions, DFJ has led the way investing in emerging technologies, from the Internet and life sciences to clean energy and nanotechnology. DFJ has been proud to back over 500 companies across many sectors including such industry changing successes such as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Athenahealth (ATHN), EnerNOC (ENOC), TicketsNow (acquired by TicketMaster), Feedburner (acquired by Google), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID).
The DFJ Network includes DFJ, DFJ Athena, DFJ Dragon, DFJ Esprit, DFJ FIR, DFJ Frontier, DFJ Gotham, DFJ Growth, DFJ InCube, DFJ Mercury, DFJ Portage, DFJ Tamir Fishman, Draper Triangle, DFJ Vina, DFJ-VTB Aurora, Element Partners, and Epic Ventures. DFJ has offices located in Menlo Park (US), Shanghai and Bangalore.
Tim Draper, Managing Director
John Fisher, Managing Director
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director (interesting article on him here)
Warren Packard, Managing Director
Jennifer Fonstad, Managing Director
Andreas Stavropoulos, Managing Director
Raj Atluru, Managing Director (Raj speaks about DFJ & cleantech practice here)
Josh Stein, Managing Director
Don Wood, Managing Director
Mark Greenstein, Managing Director/CFO
Since DFJ invested in >200 companies, we selected the relevant sector only for our blog:
Energy/Clean Technology – Attero Recycling, BioFuelBox, BrightSource Energy, Carbon Micro Battery, CoalTek, D.light design, Deeya Energy, EdenIQ, Ember, EnerNOC, Eoplex, Genomatica, Glycos Biotechnologies, GreatPoint Energy, Intematix, Jing-Jin Electric, Kaiima, Konarka, Luminus Devices, Miartech, NanoTune, Nottingham International, Oasys Water, Planet Metrics, Power Assure, Primet Precision Materials, Prudent Energy, Reva Electric, SeaMicro, Solar Junction, SolarCity, Solicore, SPSCAP, Synthetic Genomics, Tang Wind Energy, Tesla Motors, Tioga Energy, VerTerra, Widetronix.
News: July 2009: DFJ has recently rounded up $196 million in a first closing of its latest venture fund, putting the fund nearly half way to a revised $400 million target, according to a recent filing with the SEC. DFJ initially told prospective LPs that it wanted to raise $600 million for Draper Fisher Jurvetson Fund X LP but later lowered its sights to $400 million due to the challenging fund-raising environment, VentureWire reported in May. DFJ also made concessions on terms that it’s offering to the limited partners, including the addition of a hurdle rate that it must clear before the firm will be entitled to the 25% premium carry. DFJ, which declined to comment on the fund, is widely known as an early-stage investor, although like many early-stage VCs it has expanded into later-stage deals in recent years with a $290 million dedicated growth equity fund, which closed in 2007.
Comment: One of the interesting things I find about this firm is that it ventured into space exploration sector by backing a Hawthorne Calif.-based company called Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as Space X. The company develops and manufactures launch vehicles for government and commercial space transportation. It was founded by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk. Is it too early for commercial space travel/transportation investment? But Jurvetson’s a fan of space start-ups though he believes that the space tourism is too expensive. This is yet contrasted by Richard Branson’s vision of space travel by establishing the Virgin Galactic. So we’ll see who’s right in the future.