SJF Ventures nears target for Fund III(2)

The growth equity investor is expected to close its Fund III on roughly $75m before the end of April, more than twice the size of its $28m predecessor fund.

North Carolina-based SJF Ventures is approaching its $75 million target for the firm’s Fund III that will invest in cleantech and technology companies.

The firm is “very close” to its target and is expected to hold a final close by the end of April, a source with knowledge of the situation told Private Equity International. SJF launched Fund III last February with a $100 million hard-cap. The fund is licensed by the US Small Business Administration, which allows SJF to receive commitments from banks that otherwise are prohibited from investing in equity funds as a result of Dodd-Frank legislation and the Volcker Rule.

Citi Community Capital, the community development lending and investing group of Citi, is the lead investor in the fund, having committed $15 million. Other limited partners in Fund III include Deutsche Bank, Calvert Equity Portfolio, Trillium Asset Management and a number of family and individual investors.

SJF has invested in three businesses to date from Fund III, backing food technology and processing company Aseptia, biotechnology lab equipment business BioSurplus and ServiceChannel, which provides software-as-a-service to retail facilities managers.

SJF makes growth capital investments in businesses that deliver “strong social and environmental impacts”, according to a statement. The firm targets companies generating up to $20 million of revenue, committing up to $7 million per transaction. 

Last week, SJF promoted former principal Cody Nystrom from principal to managing director. The firm now has three managing directors in its North Carolina office, one in New York and one in San Francisco. SJF has plans to add two to three more investment professionals at the associate and analyst level following the closing of Fund III.

The firm’s previous fund collected $28 million in 2007.

SJF Ventures’ areas of focus include resource efficiency and infrastructure, recycling and reuse, sustainable agriculture and food safety; and technology-enhanced services.