About

DBL Partners was formed with a “Double Bottom Line” investment strategy to invest in companies that can deliver top-tier venture capital returns (First Bottom Line), while working with our companies to enable social, environmental and economic improvement in the regions in which they operate (Second Bottom Line).

DBL Partners uses venture capital to accelerate innovation in a way that positively affects an organization’s social impact, as well as its financial success. We strongly believe these two drivers –positive social change and a healthy financial performance– are inherently connected. DBL invests in and helps nurture outstanding entrepreneurs and companies in Cleantech, Information Technology, Sustainable Products and Services, and Healthcare.

Our Approach

DBL Part­ners assists its port­fo­lio com­pa­nies in achiev­ing a “dou­ble bot­tom line”: that is, strong long-term finan­cial suc­cess, as well as pos­i­tive social, envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­ic impact in the local com­mu­ni­ty. We have found that dou­ble bot­tom line prac­tices that com­pa­nies choose to adopt can be sig­nif­i­cant­ly ben­e­fi­cial to the fis­cal bot­tom line both via direct ben­e­fits of cost sav­ings and val­ue cre­ation, and via indi­rect ben­e­fits of cre­at­ing good­will with their mar­ket, cus­tomers and com­mu­ni­ty, and enhanc­ing employ­ee morale and reten­tion.

DBL Part­ners uti­lizes its staff, part­ners and resources to help its port­fo­lio com­pa­nies devel­op dou­ble bot­tom line prac­tices that are unique­ly appro­pri­ate and effec­tive for their busi­ness. We encour­age com­pa­nies to imple­ment dou­ble bot­tom line pro­grams at a pace and scope that fol­lows each company’s finan­cial objec­tives and stage of growth. Some exam­ples of dou­ble bot­tom line prac­tices:

  • Local hir­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly qual­i­fied res­i­dents of low and mod­er­ate income com­mu­ni­ties
  • Employ­ee devel­op­ment, train­ing for advance­ment, and con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion
  • Employ­ee edu­ca­tion on top­ics includ­ing health­care, child­care, prof­it shar­ing, home own­er­ship, finan­cial lit­er­a­cy and   per­son­al finance man­age­ment
  • Under­stand­ing and apply­ing local and near­by live­able wage ordi­nances
  • Host­ing edu­ca­tion­al ses­sions for the com­mu­ni­ty on top­ics includ­ing health­care, child­care, prof­it shar­ing, home own­er­ship, finan­cial lit­er­a­cy and per­son­al finance man­age­ment
  • Con­tract­ing with qual­i­fied local, women, and minor­i­ty sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors, in areas such as line-of busi­ness and/​or build­ing and prop­er­ty main­te­nance ser­vices
  • Pol­lu­tion and waste reduc­tion: encour­ag­ing car­pool­ing and pub­lic tran­sit, waste min­i­miza­tion, and recy­cling
  • Ener­gy con­ser­va­tion and resource effi­cien­cy: “green” build­ing design, con­struc­tion and oper­a­tion
  • Pos­i­tive rela­tions with the local com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing facil­i­tat­ing employ­ee vol­un­teer­ing and char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tion, and work­ing with local orga­ni­za­tions and non-prof­its
  • Assist­ing local schools by par­tic­i­pat­ing in career days, tutor­ing, men­tor­ing and intern­ship pro­grams
  • Main­tain­ing pos­i­tive rela­tions with local, region­al, state, and fed­er­al agen­cies in rela­tion to reg­u­la­to­ry com­pli­ance, per­mit­ting, and access­ing resources and finan­cial incen­tives
  • Encour­ag­ing employ­ees to patron­ize busi­ness­es in the local com­mu­ni­ty
  • Oth­er pro­grams spe­cif­ic to the company’s line of busi­ness and col­lec­tive inter­est

DBL Partners: Double Bottom Line Venture Capital Investing

DBL Partners was formed with a “Double Bottom Line” investment strategy to invest in companies that can deliver top-tier venture capital returns while working with our companies to enable social, environmental and economic improvement in the regions in which they operate.  We accomplish this two-fold return by adhering to a strict investment discipline honed over 40 years of collective venture capital experience while at the same time implementing a proprietary approach to leveraging public sector, university and not-for-profit resources to the benefit of our fund’s portfolio companies and to regional environmental and economic development goals.

Our first fund, the Bay Area Equity Fund I, has successfully implemented this double bottom line investment model in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our second fund, the DBL Equity Fund – BAEF II is implementing this investing approach with a larger size and an expanded geographic focus of the Western U.S. DBL Partners Fund III, a $400 Million fund, is one of the largest impact investing funds in the venture capital asset class.

Our funds make investments in private growth companies with a strong emphasis on investments in Clean Tech as well as investments in Information Technology, Sustainability-Oriented Products and Services, and Healthcare.

At the same time that our portfolio companies deliver tangible benefits to the community, such as job creation in low-income neighborhoods and corporate community engagement, their businesses are global in scope and many are international leaders in their fields.