CEI Ventures has raised an additional $2 million to fully capitalize its fourth venture capital fund, Coastal Ventures IV.
The $2 million, in addition to $7.2 million raised before an initial closing in December 2015, will be put to work investing in socially responsible companies in Maine and elsewhere, according to Nat Henshaw, managing director of CEI Ventures.
So far, CEI Ventures has invested $1.1 million out of Coastal Ventures IV across three companies: Pika Energy in Westbrook, Maine Craft Distilling in Portland, and Genicon, a surgical tool manufacturer in Winter Park, Fla., according to Henshaw.
Coastal Ventures IV was capitalized by 17 local and regional banks as well as eight individual investors, according to a news release. CEI Ventures’ parent organization, Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises Inc., invested $1.5 million in the new fund.
In total, CEI Ventures now has $20 million under management, split between two VC funds: Coastal Ventures III and Coastal Ventures IV. Its goal is to invest in companies that create quality jobs and promote socially responsible products and services, particularly those improving the environment. Initial investments typically range from $250,000 to $750,000.
“We’re actively looking for companies, so we’d be interested in talking with people,” Henshaw told Maine Startups Insider.
Henshaw helped develop CEI’s venture capital program, co-founding CEI Ventures in 1994. Besides investing in socially responsible companies, it also invests in companies that meet the mission of CEI, which is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution dedicated to supporting businesses in low-income, rural areas.
Since its founding, CEI Ventures has raised more than $45 million and invested in over 50 companies. According to the company’s research, those companies have created more than 2,000 net new jobs, though not all in Maine.
Some of CEI Ventures’ promising Maine-based portfolio companies include Pika Energy, Certify, Tilson Technology Management, BlueTarp Financial, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Mingle Analytics, Maine Craft Distilling, and Gelato Fiasco.
Prior investments that led to successful exits include Coast of Maine Organic Products, which experienced a liquidity event last year; Innov-X Systems, a Woburn, Mass.-based company acquired in 2010; Cuddledown Inc., a Yarmouth-based company acquired in December 2012; Avia Biosystems, a Norton, Mass.-based company acquired in 2015; RecruiterNet, a Portland-based software company that was acquired in 2005 by First Advantage Corp.; and Bar Harbor Foods, which was acquired last year by a Maryland company.