REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Draper Fisher Jurvetson closed its $330 million meVC Draper Fisher Jurvetson Fund I Inc. in April, said John Grillos, the fund’s chairman and chief executive officer.
MeVC, a closed-end fund, is scheduled to trade on the New York Stock Exchange no later than June 26, he said, under the ticker symbol “MVC.” The fund, which launched in June 1999, gathered pledges from more than 33,000 investors.
Draper Fisher Jurvetson initially expected to raise $500 million through the offering, but ultimately sold 16.5 million shares of common stock at $20.00 per share in the fund’s initial public offering. Draper Fisher Jurvetson contributed $4.5 million to the fund and will provide it with deal flow and support from its network of seven affiliate funds.
MeVC will give individual investors access to venture capital deals. The fund will back between 30 and 50 expansion- and mezzanine-stage companies, with at least 70% of them based in the United States. At press time, meVC had backed two companies and was in the process of sealing two more deals, Grillos said, adding that the four transactions are in mezzanine-stage companies. He would not reveal the names of the companies or the terms of the deals.
Portfolio companies benefit from having meVC as an investor, Grillos said, in that Wall Street analysts covering meVC, a public entity, will give exposure to private portfolio companies. This should prove beneficial when the private companies go public, he said, because investors will already be familiar with them.
Grillos will manage the fund, along with Principal Nino Marakovic. At press time, meVC was preparing offers for two additional investors. The investment team is responsible for establishing deal flow, structuring and negotiating deals, and monitoring and assisting portfolio companies.