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EnerNOC

EnerNOC (Nasdaq ENOC) came to Cambridge Innovation Center in the midst of a fund raising tour of more than 30 venture funds and angel groups in the fall of 2002. The two founders, Tim Healy and David Brewster, were looking for a few million dollars to take advantage of a deregulated New England electricity market. EnerNOC’s idea was to remotely connect to back-up generators, usually found sitting idle on building roofs, and dispatch them in aggregate during times of peak demand. A virtual peak power plant with none of the capital invested, no transmission lines and their incumbent social and environmental impact, no distribution costs. Just a bit of instrumentation, and shared profits with the building owner. Load curtailment (turning down or shutting down elevators, chillers, etc) would work as well. A few companies were doing something similar here and there using phone calls or radios, but David and Tim were the first to see this could be a scalable business – that expanding electricity production capacity for peak times could be avoided altogether in many cases by making the electric grid smarter.

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DivX

DivX was created to make it more efficient to store and distribute video through the internet. We invested in DivX in their first round of financing in 2000. Our thesis was that the inevitable increase in bandwidth on the internet would make online video a large and fast growing emerging market. Jordan Greenhall, having lived through the growth of audio technologies while at mp3.com, joined forces with Jerome “Gej” Rota, who had started to build a tool for encoding video more efficiently, and with a select team of other co-founders started DivX. By giving video tools away to the consumers for free, the company built a huge consumer following, which was the leverage for licensing the technology to device manufacturers for playing the video that consumers created. During the difficult downturn in the tech market in its early years we actually chose to aggressively increase our investment and ownership because we believed in the company prospects and its leadership. The company held its IPO in 2006 and has by now built a leading global video standard for storing, sharing and distributing video online, with 300 million consumer users, deals with all the top global device manufacturers and most major Hollywood studios.

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Mobile365

Mobile365 enabled the first mobile data service (text messaging) in the US. We noticed in 2000 that text messaging was growing fast as a service in Europe and Asia, but had been lagging in the US. At the time, a US mobile phone could message another phone in the same carrier, but messages would not travel across carriers. Different carrier standards and lack of connectivity created these artificial barriers. Terry Hsiao (ex-Nextel) and co-founders Bill Backrach and Bill Peters started the company to solve this problem. We were the lead early investor in the company. Our thesis was that a reliable third party intermediary would catalyze action among carriers to connect and enable a large growing market. A per transaction messaging fee would allow the company to share in the growing market. Mobile365 is a great example of how we work with companies: we advised on strategy, helped recruit management, helped secure follow-on funding from other investors, recruited additional board members, and helped negotiate the sale of the company. The company was acquired by Sybase in 2006 for $425MM. It has become the global leader in carrier interconnectivity partner and enablement of new data services.

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Trancentrix

Provides a B2B payment intermediary for making domestic and international payments. The Company offers software and services used by corporate treasury, finance, and accounts payable departments to process and execute domestic and international payments.

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Todd Hixon

Todd invests broadly in information technology businesses, with emphasis on companies that use “deep” technology to create commercial value.  Currently Todd serves on the Board of Directors of EveryScape and is a contributor to Forbes. Before co-founding New Atlantic Ventures in 2006, Todd was a managing partner of DFJ New England Fund from 2000 to 2006, and previously a Senior Vice President with The Boston Consulting Group, where he managed two venture portfolios, built the Technology and Communications Practice to $100 million of revenue, and managed the firm’s information technology and knowledge management functions. He earned his BA in Physics from Princeton University (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and he holds his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

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Scott Johnson

Scott is an early-stage technology venture capital investor with a specialty in online advertising, e-commerce, and enterprise software. Scott particularly likes frictionless business models, and to eliminate process inefficiency and find opportunity in automation. Prior to co-founding NAV.VC and its predecessor, DFJ New England, he oversaw the east coast investments for Cambridge Technology Capital Fund, the venture capital arm of global system integrator, Cambridge Technology Partners. In 1996 he co-founded InterSense, Inc., now part of Gentex Corporation. Scott began his career writing C code as an early employee of Cambridge Technology Partners.