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DBL Investors

Winter 2012 Newsletter

Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio

DBL Investors currently manages $225 million across two funds. The first fund, Bay Area Equity Fund I, closed at $75 million and began investing in 2004. The second fund, DBL Equity Fund - BAEF II, closed at $150 million and began investing in Q4 2009.

The firm invests in cleantech, health care, information technology, and sustainability-oriented companies in the western United States. As of December 2012, the firm has 22 investments across the two funds.

DBL Investors is a women-led venture capital firm.

The firm’s investor base is comprised of private and family foundations, family offices, pension funds, corporations, and banks that support double bottom line or impact investing.


Portfolio Company News

SolarCity to bring solar power to military housing
San Jose Mercury News
November 12, 2012

California approves two of five BrightSource, SCE contracts
October 25, 2012

2013 Automobile of the Year: Tesla Model S
Automobile Magazine
January, 2013 Issue

Maiyet Embraces the Human Touch
New York Times
November 14, 2012

EcoScraps: Trashy Startups Haul It In
Venture Capital Journal
November 19, 2012

View (formerly Soladigm): A Startup Shows Off 'Smart Windows' In San Francisco Hotel
November 12, 2012

PowerGenix: Nickel-zinc Battery “Most Promising Technologies”
Car & Driver Magazine
January 2013, Issue


DBL Investors in the News

Nancy Pfund named an “AlwaysOn 2012 Power Player in Greentech”
Always On
November 23, 2012

Roundtable: Women make mark in venture capital
USA Today
November 5, 2012

Despite Beltway Furor, Clean Tech Creates Jobs Both Red and Blue, Report Says
Wall Street Journal (blog)
September 14, 2012

Want a green job? Here's who's hiring in wind energy, solar
Christian Science Monitor (blog)
October 3, 2012

Huffington Post (blog)
September 28, 2012

With California Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program Launch, Experts Debate Economic Side Effects
SF Public Press
November 15, 2012

Cap and trade will give California edge
San Francisco Chronicle
September 4, 2012


DBL Investors in the Community

Chevron’s California Partnership Forum

Chevron Conference

In November, Managing Partner Nancy Pfund was a panelist with Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter at Chevron’s California Partnership Forum: How Business, Nonprofits and Government Can Create Shared Value. Keynote speaker Michael Porter presented his concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) which focuses on the connections between societal and economic progress. DBL portfolio company Revolution Foods was highlighted, among other organizations, as a successful Oakland-based company for creating entry level and sustained benefits for California communities.

Impact Assets
In October, DBL Investors was selected for the ImpactAssets 50 2012, an open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers that deliver both financial and social or environmental returns. The IA 50 is intended to illustrate the breadth of impact investment fund managers operating today; the IA 50 2012 represents $10.2 billion of capital invested across geographies, sectors, asset classes and impact areas such as community development, microfinance and clean technology.  

Clean and Green Energy Forum – Opal Financial Group
In December, Managing Partner, Cynthia Ringo, presented at Opal’s Clean and Green Energy Forum to discuss opportunities in clean tech investing.

TBLI Conference Europe 2012
In November, Managing Partner, Nancy Pfund, presented at the Measurement of Impact Panel at TBLI Europe 2012, the global networking and learning event on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Impact Investing.

SVForum - Cleantech 2.0 – A New Shade of Green
In December, DBL Partner, Mark Perutz, presented at the SV Forum on the role that venture capital firms play today in the cleantech sector, spurring innovations in renewable resources, clean water, manufacturing, energy efficiency, and energy storage.

CA State Hearing on Double Bottom Line Investments
In November, DBL Partner, Seth Miller, testified at a hearing convened by Assemblymember Nora Campos and the California Emerging Technology Fund on promoting economic development through Double Bottom Line Investments.

2012 Net Impact Conference
In October, DBL Partner, Seth Miller, presented at the Net Impact conference, a community of changemakers who put business skills to work for good across sectors for the benefit of not just the first bottom line, but people and planet too.





Welcome to the Winter edition of the
DBL Investors newsletter.

As 2012 comes to a close, we reflect on developments in our portfolio and our broader community of impact investing. We thank you for your continued support as we nurture outstanding companies to meet our dual objectives of achieving top-tier venture capital returns (First Bottom Line) along with local job creation, environmental and economic benefits in the regions in which we invest (Second Bottom Line).



  2012 Recent Highlights


SolarCity IPO Shines

SolarCity (SCTY) shined on its first day of trading and surged 47% above its $8-a-share initial public offering price to close at $11.79. The SolarCity team with co-founders Lyndon Rive, CEO, and Peter Rive, COO rang the opening NASDAQ bell, along with DBL Managing Partner and SolarCity Board Member Nancy Pfund. DBL Investors joined Elon Musk and DFJ in investing in the IPO. See the press roundup from SolarCity’s IPO on December 13, 2012.

"Everyone wants control of their energy costs. Today, many are stuck using dirty power at unpredictable rates, but don't realize that they have a better energy option. SolarCity gives customers cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills to protect themselves from rising energy costs," said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. "The most exciting thing about our IPO is that it will enable us to help even more homeowners and organizations pay less money for better energy, and we're grateful to NASDAQ for making it possible."

SolarCity provides clean energy to homeowners, businesses and government organizations at a lower cost than utilities. SolarCity’s customers include tens of thousands of homeowners, more than 200 schools and universities, leading businesses including Walmart, eBay and Intel, and all four branches of the U.S. Military. SolarCity now serves 14 states from more than 30 locations, and has created more than 2,000 green jobs nationwide since DBL Investors initial investment in the company in 2007.


BrightSource Energy raised more than $80 million of additional equity financing.

This brings BrightSource’s total equity financing to more than $615 million and positions the company for significant international growth. Alstom, a global leader in the world of power generation, and VantagePoint Capital Partners lead the round. Along with DBL, investors include DFJ, CalSTRS, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures among others.

BrightSource is currently constructing the 377 MW Ivanpah solar project in partnership with NRG Energy and Google. Ivanpah is more than 60 percent complete and due to provide clean, reliable energy to over 140,000 California homes by the end of 2013. The project is creating over 2,000 construction jobs in some of California’s hardest hit local economies.


DBL Investors new investment in EcoScraps

EcoScraps, based in Utah, is a leading manufacturer and distributer of all-natural garden products that turns discarded food waste (fruits and vegetables) into high-quality compost, potting soil and other soil amendments.  The “no poop” and chemical-​free, safe for family and pets, is a high-performing compost alternative to the chemical and manure-laden products.


California Clean Enegy
DBL Investors and the Sierra Club held a California Clean Energy 2013 Forum

In October, DBL Investors and the Sierra Club teamed up to bring together 20 leaders from the cleantech industry including, among others, SolarCity, Solaria, SunRun, Sungevity, SunEdison, and SunTech. The discussion focused on renewable energy advocacy issues such as expanded Net Energy Metering (NEM) for solar and extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for the wind power industry. DBL continues to advocate for expanded NEM that has stimulated the solar industry creating more than 35,000 jobs—70% of which are solar installation jobs that are non-outsourceable and will stay in the local community. See the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign on how solar creates jobs and Jose’s success story from unemployment to learning how to be a solar installer and within six months a crew leader.


Revolution Foods, Earn, Broadway Bank
Revolution Foods held financial literacy training

In November, DBL Investors, in partnership with EARN and Broadway Federal Bank (a Community Development Financial Institution), continued its series of financial education workshops for Revolution Foods employees on the value of banking and saving. 20 entry-level employees attended the November workshop at the Revolution Foods Los Angeles food operations center. EARN, a nonprofit that provides matched savings accounts and financial education, presented their 3:1 match TripleBoost Account. An employee signed up on the spot for the EARN TripleBoost Account to save $500 of her own money and receive $1,500 of match funds for each of her eligible children to invest in their education. Financial education workshops were also held in April and June at the Revolution Foods Oakland food operations center with a combined total of 75 entry-level employees participating. The Oakland workshops were done in partnership with One PacificCoast Foundation and EARN.



  Second Bottom Line Highlights



Workforce Development

Veterans Hiring

A recent San Jose Mercury News article “Veterans find jobs, and new mission, in cleantech” mentions employers SolarCity, BrightSource Energy, and Tesla with stories from former veterans now working in the cleantech sector. A black POW-MIA flag flies every day at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar plant under construction in the Mojave Desert, courtesy of a project superintendent who was a Marine in Vietnam. SolarCity employs over 100 veterans and works with organizations such as Swords to Plowshares, Veterans Green Jobs and other veterans affairs offices.

DBL has launched a Bay Area Clean Energy Workforce Coalition as a forum for clean energy companies to share workforce development best practices. The inaugural meeting will be held on January 18th at DBL’s offices to discuss issues ranging from veterans hiring programs to programs and partnerships with local community colleges and vocational training organizations.


Siting Facilities in CA

Ecologic to Onshore Jobs with CA Plant

Over the summer, DBL found the location for Ecologic’s intermediate assembly plant in Fresno, CA when a burst of production demand exceeded the company’s projected capacity. The facility is located in a low-moderate income area and has been operational since October 2012.  DBL continues to assist Ecologic in evaluating sites for its first full-production manufacturing facility in Northern California which will onshore jobs from Asia.  DBL identified low-interest loan and incentive opportunities for locating in enterprise and recycling market development zones.


Environmental Stewardship

Franklin & Associates, an industry leading engineer and physical science consultancy, completed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on Ecologic’s 50oz eco.bottle® to validate its sustainability attributes

A 124-page life cycle analysis was conducted on the 50oz (1.5 liter) eco.bottle®, and here’s how Ecologic stacks up against a traditional, virgin plastic detergent bottle:

  • 37% less CO2 emitted, as measured by kg CO2 eq/bottle

  • 59% less solid waste generated, as measured by m3 solid waste/bottle

  • 48% less energy consumed, as measured by MJ/bottle

  • 42% less toxins released, as measured by Comparative Toxic Units (CTUs) into the atmosphere per bottle


Supporting a Clean Energy Sector

Red, Green, Blue Whitepaper
DBL Investors White Paper: “Red, White and Green: The True Colors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs” released in September

“Red, White and Green: The True Colors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs” authored by Managing Partner Nancy Pfund and Michael Lazar, a Yale University graduate student and DBL Summer Associate, examines the sharp contrasts between political rhetoric and on-​​the-​​ground reality, and shows that red states – not blue states – are leading clean tech or “green job” growth. 3 states (California, New York, Texas) have more clean tech jobs than are employed in coal mining in the entire US.


California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Thought Leaders Series

In October, Managing Partner Nancy Pfund presented at the CPUC’s 21st Century Thought Leaders in Essential Industries Speaker Series, “Green Economy Partnerships” on strategic public/private partnerships focused on developing the green economy in California. The panel, moderated by CA Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, highlighted partnerships between multiple stakeholders such as utilities, government, industry and investors who aim to leverage limited resources and remove barriers to sustainable investment.



DBL Invesotrs

Winter 2012 Newsletter


Copyright © 2012 DBL Investors, all rights reserved.

DBL Investors
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San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 568‑2901
Fax: (415) 956‑2561