Oak Investment Partners

About: Oak Investment Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm with a total of $8.4 billion in committed capital. The primary investment focus is on high growth opportunities in Broadband Internet and Wireless Communications, Information Technology and Software Outsourced Services, Consumer Internet/New Media, Financial Services Technology, Healthcare Information and Services, Clean Energy, and Retail. Since its founding in 1978, Oak has achieved a strong track record as a stage-independent investor funding more than 481 companies at key points in their lifecycle. Oak has been involved in the formation of companies, funded spinouts of operating divisions and technology assets, and provided growth equity to mid- and late-stage private businesses and to public companies through PIPE investments. Oak has offices in Westport, CT, Minneapolis, MN, and Palo Alto, CA.

www.oakinv.com

Key Personnel:
Managing Partner: Bandel Carano, Ed Glassmeyer, Fred Harman, Ann Lamont

Portfolio:
Clean Energy – Aurora Biofuels, Boston-Power, eSolar, GreenVolts, NanoH2O, Protean Electric, ReliOn, Sundrop Fuels

News: According to this WSJ blog in April 2009, it reported that “Oak has rolled out its latest fund with a $1.5 billion target, sharply lower than the $2.5 billion the firm previously told some LPs it hoped to target, and lower than its $2.5 billion predecessor raised in 2006, according to several of the firm’s backers. Assuming it hits $1.5 billion, Oak Investment Partners XIII LP would be about the same size as the fund the firm raised in 2004. Oak is aiming for a first, if not final, closing of the latest fund in June, one limited partner said, adding that Oak initially hoped to hold a first closing by the end of April. Oak has pushed out its annual meeting from this May to October, LPs said. A less than stellar performance from recent funds may pose a hurdle to Oak’s fund-raising, according to limited partners. As of Sept. 30, the firm’s 2004 and 2001 vintage funds had produced net internal rates of return of 1% and 5%, respectively, according to performance data posted by the Washington State Investment Board. A 1999 vintage fund was generating a negative 4.2% net IRR as of that date, while a 1998 fund produced a much better 55% net IRR, according to data from the investment board.”

An article by VentureBeat writes about the underperformance of Oak here (April 2009) and here (June 2006).

In Jan 2009, Boston-Power, the rapidly growing provider of next-generation Lithium-ion batteries, announced $55 million in new funding. Boston-Power will use the new growth capital to scale manufacturing, sales, marketing, and research and development to meet strong global demand for Sonata Lithium-ion batteries. Initially targeting notebook computers, Sonata will come to the market in early 2009 through a relationship with HP, the world’s number one provider of notebook PCs. The Series D round was led by Foundation Asset Management (FAM) and included existing blue-chip investors Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.

In Sep 2008, GreenVolts, a leader in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology, announced that it has secured $30 million in Series B funding from Oak Investment Partners. GreenVolts will use the funds to continue to build out its organization, accelerate its advanced R&D efforts, and scale capacity for anticipated 2009 deployments. A portion of the funds will also be used for its GV1 project, the world’s largest non-silicon CPV power plant built as part of its agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric.

In Sep 2008, NanoH2O, developer of next generation reverse osmosis membranes for desalination and water reuse, announced that it has secured $15 million in funding from Oak Investment Partners and Khosla Ventures. The funding will be devoted to commercializing the company’s Thin-Film Nanocomposite (TFN) seawater reverse osmosis membrane product and expanding its research and development activities.

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