Three Heads are Better Than One: SWFs Unite to Finance Early-Stage Companies

September 12, 2014

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Ogin uses jet engine technology to develop small, high-performance wind turbines. Artistic impression by Paul McCrorey When three sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi, Alberta, Canada and New Zealand realized they could leverage their scale and long-term investment horizons by cooperating to invest directly in early-stage, capital-intensive companies to boost returns, a new investment model was born that may change the way venture capital approaches these types of enterprises. WHEN THE BOARD of Bloom Energy Corp. meets, in an expansive conference room at the fuel cell maker's Sunnyvale, California, headquarters, the directors who are likely to attend include big names from the worlds of finance, politics and technology. Among them: venture capitalist John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; ex–U.S. secretary of State Colin Powell; Cypress Semiconductor Corp. founder, president and CEO T.J. Rodgers; and, as of August, AOL co-founder and former CEO Steve Case.…

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