Alan Salzman and Jim Marver founded VantagePoint Venture Partners in 1996 with a mission to identify, invest in and mentor young companies looking to revolutionize industries and change the world.
After a number of successful information technology and internet investments, including the original social-media site MySpace and the wildly popular low-cost Flip video camera, it became clear that the world’s energy practices were in desperate need of modernization. Crumbling infrastructure, over-reliance on fossil fuels, gross inefficiency and a growing world population all seemed addressable by careful application of advanced technology in areas such as bio-chemicals, solid-state lighting, electrification of transportation, solar-power generation, grid modernization, resource efficiency and other energy-related sectors.
So while continuing to fund interesting companies in IT, digital media, healthcare and financial technology, VantagePoint largely shifted its emphasis to companies making breakthroughs in energy innovation and efficiency. This lead to early investments in start-ups such as electric-vehicle maker Tesla, utility-scale solar-power provider BrightSource Energy, advanced bio-chemical innovator Genomatica, LED lighting pioneer Bridgelux and many other up-and-coming clean-energy companies.
In 2010 the Firm changed its named to VantagePoint Capital Partners to better reflect the complexity of funding to support the scale-up and build-out of supporting infrastructure for these highly innovative companies.
Over time the definition of “energy innovation” has expanded to include breakthrough technology in such diverse areas as wave-powered ocean drones, carbon conversion and sophisticated grid-optimizartion systems.
Today VantagePoint continues its commitment to these important sectors, has expanded internationall and is considered a leader in support of the energy revolution.