August Ventures? Maybe Not

Yesterday we wrote about August Ventures, a new cleantech investment shop based in Boise, Idaho. If the name sounds familiar, that may be because it’s awfully close to that of August Capital, the Silicon Valley firm that’s been making venture capital investments for the past 15 years.

Not sure why everyone is hankering for the August moniker — perhaps the double meaning — but August Capital has no plans to share. Instead, it plans to ring up the Boise boys and request that they order new stationary.

“I’m not sure why they think they can use it, but they can’t,” says David Hornik, an August Capital partner who currently teaches IP law at Stanford.

August Capital had a similar beef years ago with a European outfit and, closer to home, Union Square Ventures compelled private equity firm Union Square Partners to revert to its former identity as Capital Z Partners. Really folks, is it that difficult to come up with a unique prefix to “Ventures” or “Capital?”

We’ve left a message with August Ventures, and will update this post if we hear back.

Update: The name issue may not be August Ventures’ only problem. Take a look at the similarites between the “strategy” boilerplate on its website and the “strategy” boilerplate of Clean Pacific Ventures (originally posted three years ago):

August Ventures:

…at August Ventures, we believe that significant investment opportunities are emerging due to the confluence of several significant factors: the under served funding environment for early stage companies, the evolving nature of global energy consumption, and the increased focus on global climate change.

Recently, there has been an emergence of a number of cleantech focused funds, we believe most cleantech funds will migrate beyond early stage investments as substantial institutional capital continues to flow into the sector; as these funds get larger, deploying small amounts of capital in individual companies becomes challenging. August Ventures will target companies needing early stage institutional round of up to $1 million to commercialize and expand their current businesses.

In addition, we believe that clean technology is an important space, and intend to invest in capital efficient businesses across multiple clean technology sectors. Areas of particular interest include; renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and advanced materials.

Clean Pacific Ventures

Clean Pacific believes that significant investment opportunities lie at the confluence of two market factors: the underserved funding environment for early stage companies and the evolving nature of clean technology as a defined asset class.

Despite the emergence of a number of cleantech focused funds, Clean Pacific believes most institutional cleantech investors will migrate beyond early stage investments as capital continues to flow into the sector. As funds get larger, deploying small amounts of capital becomes more difficult. Clean Pacific intends to target companies needing the first institutional round of $2-4 million to commercialize and expand their current businesses. Importantly, Clean Pacific aims to be a cooperative funding partner and work and provide capital alongside later stage firms to help portfolio companies access further growth capital when needed.

In addition, Clean Pacific believes that clean technology is an evolving asset class, and intends to invest across multiple clean technology sectors in capital efficient businesses that broadly address the use of natural resources while improving the quality of air, water and land. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Renewable energy
  • Carbon markets
  • Energy storage
  • Energy efficiency and intelligence
  • Water purification
  • Water efficiency and intelligence
  • Food safety and purification
  • Advanced materials
  • Recyclable and remanufactured materials