MENLO PARK, CA, Jun 07 (MARKET WIRE) —
One of a select few new venture capital firms to emerge in the past year,
Olympus Capital Partners formally announced its firm today and the
closing of its $150-million inaugural fund focused on late-stage venture
and growth equity opportunities in established clean energy and
information technology companies.
The announcement coincides with the closing of a $41.5-million Series C
round of funding by Solexant, a solar technology company committed to
achieving grid parity. Olympus is the lead investor in this new round of
funding for Solexant, and the firm’s founder, Rami Elkhatib, is joining
the company’s board of directors. The firm also announced the
appointments of venture partners Charles Ho and Debra Schilling.
“We believe this is a great time for unconventional approaches to
established clean energy and IT markets,” said Elkhatib, founder and
general partner of Olympus Capital Partners. “We are very enthusiastic
about the opportunity we see for compelling late-stage clean energy and
IT companies with proven technology, strong customer acceptance,
resourceful management teams, and capital-efficient business models.
Solexant is a perfect example, and it exemplifies why we formed Olympus.”
With its highly focused, theme-based investment strategy and active
engagement with its portfolio companies, Olympus will invest its first
fund in roughly 10-12 companies over the next five years, investing
approximately $7 million to $15 million in each company. The $150-million
fund was raised from a small pool of select limited partners, including a
large international asset management group.
The Olympus investment strategy focuses on unconventional approaches in
traditional, established clean energy and IT markets. Solexant, and its
grid-parity mission, epitomizes the types of opportunities Olympus seeks
in clean energy. In the broad IT space, the firm is interested in
companies that leverage new technology paradigms to achieve more
efficient business models, and that leverage the new influence
individuals and consumers have on shaping technology, such as in
ecommerce and mobility.
The commonalities across the Olympus investment focus are capital
efficiency, grounded and resourceful management teams, and an
unconventional approach to an established investment area. Along with its
new investment in Solexant, the Olympus portfolio includes software
companies Bridgewater Systems and BDNA. Bridgewater Systems, a publicly
traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, enables mobile service
providers to personalize, manage and deliver applications such as mobile
commerce, mobile video, and social networking to over 150 million
subscribers globally. BDNA, The IT Genome Company(TM), offers a suite of
products and services that enables enterprises to eliminate IT waste and
free up IT budgets for innovation. BDNA has more than 250 customers in
the US and Europe.
Focused Team; Strong Domain DNA
Olympus has assembled a proven investment team with financial and
operational domain DNA developed directly in the industries and markets
and around the themes in which the firm is investing.
Rami Elkhatib, with a background in computer and electrical engineering
as well as materials science, has extensive experience and a keen
interest in fuel cell and thin-film solar technologies, and in IT
infrastructure and software companies. Prior to forming Olympus, he was
general partner at Southeast Technology Funds where he served on the
board of several portfolio companies, including Pixel Magic (acquired by
Dai Nippon), Waveguide Solutions, Elumens Corporation and Arsenal Digital
(acquired by IBM).
Earlier, Elkhatib co-founded Datacme Software, held senior management
roles at Oneworld Software Solutions, and was a technology investment
banker at UBS Warburg where he led several public offerings and M&A deals
that in aggregate raised over $800 million for high tech companies. He
holds an MBA in finance from M.I.T. where he was named Henry du Pont III
Scholar, a B.S. in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue
University, and has been a member of Stanford University’s honors co-op
program in Materials Science & Engineering, where his work focused on new
materials for fuel cells, thin-film solar and other clean energy
applications of advanced materials, and where he contributed to writing
the 2nd edition of the leading textbook on fuel cells, Fuel Cell
Charles Ho, an Olympus venture partner, has spent the last decade working
on investments in energy and in environmentally beneficial products and
services with a particular focus on China and Brazil. Most recently, he
co-founded a Brazil-based company that has commercialized a process for
reclaiming aluminum and recycled plastics from waste packaging materials.
Previously, as director of the Lithcon Group, he ran a China-based
manufacturing operation and served as COO of a specialty petroleum
marketing division specializing in environmentally friendly automotive
lubrication and combustion technology.
Before working in energy and environmentally focused businesses, Ho was a
technology investment banker with Lehman Brothers and UBS Warburg focused
on software and telecommunications. He previously was a management
consultant with Deloitte Consulting, specializing in telecommunications
and network economics. He started his career as a petroleum refinery,
chemical and process engineer for Conoco. He holds a B.S. in Chemical
Engineering from the University of Texas, an MBA from Columbia
University, and is a CFA Charterholder.
Joining Olympus as venture partner is Debra Schilling, who brings to the
team more than 27 years of experience as a technology and finance
executive with considerable expertise in venture capital. Before Olympus,
she was CFO at Horizon Ventures and Aspen Ventures. Prior to venture
capital, she held multiple financial and leadership roles at Nimbus
Technologies, Radius, Air Communications, Plexus Computers and
NCR-Micrographics. Debra has a B.S. in Accounting from San Jose State
University and an MBA in Finance from Santa Clara University.
Olympus Capital Partners is a new late-stage venture capital and growth
equity firm. Its partners apply unconventional wisdom in seeking
theme-based clean energy and IT investment opportunities that are
capital-efficient and whose management teams are grounded and
resourceful. The company’s initial investments are in thin-film solar
innovator, Solexant; mobile services infrastructure, personalization and
management software provider, Bridgewater Systems; and The IT Genome
Company, BDNA. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., the firm closed its
$150-million inaugural fund in Q4 of 2009. For more information, visit
650-347-2735, ext. 103
Copyright 2010, Market Wire, All rights reserved.