- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2000

The cross-border links in the Washington-area venture capital industry take several different forms. A sampling:
The Carlyle Group makes any list of area firms with international venture operations, though it is by no means exclusively an early-stage investor. Carlyle Asia Venture Partners I, a $159 million fund, invests in that region's technology industry, excluding Japan. Carlyle Internet Partners Europe, LP is a $665 million pan-European fund for Internet and information technology companies. Both got up and running early this year.
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey in Arlington purchased a stake in London-based Dawnay Day Lander, a corporate finance and venture firm, in January. It also agreed to raise $20 million for the DDL Internet Incubator Fund, which will invest in British start-ups. This month, FBR jumped into a joint venture with Israeli industrial giant Clal Industries and Israel Infinity fund.
Global Internet Ventures in McLean is a limited partnership, not a fund, with more than $140 million to invest in Internet technologies being developed in China and India that have global applications. The firm opened an office in Bangalore, India, in May. Beijing is to follow on Sept. 1.
Mercator Broadband Partners in Reston will close this fall on a $200 million fund that is aimed above all at area companies. Through an office in Tel Aviv, the firm plans to keep its ear to the ground for Israeli companies that might have their research and development operations in Israel, but see the United States as their primary market.
Monumental Venture Partners in McLean will in September put the finishing touches on a $75 million fund that targets the Washington area, but reserves 15 percent of the money for overseas investors. Its backers, who include former Rep. Jack Fields, a Texas Republican, are well-connected abroad, especially in Israel.
Bozman Partners has offices in both the District and Paris that provide angel funding to start-ups in this area, and in France, where a more entrepreneurial culture is taking root after years of stagnation.
The Washington area is also home to numerous boutique firms that might be called the "cousins of Carlyle." These funds, frequently headed by well-connected former senior officials in the federal government and in international financial institutions, usually focus more on later-stage financial support, rather that on providing seed money to new economy start-ups.
But some of them, like International Equity Partners (IEP) in Arlington, are wading into early-stage investing. IEP is raising a fund called Etec Ventures, which will go toward either Indian companies or American firms with significant operations in India.
Major Washington-area corporations, like America Online and Riggs Bank, also have venture capital arms that have made investments abroad.
The list of foreign fund with operations in this area is much smaller. Internet Partnership Group in the District is a London-based firm that finances and incubates technology start-ups. The group, which also has an office in Milan, Italy, and is setting up in Zurich and Paris, is raising a $50 million fund to invest in the content and wireless industries. CDC Capital Partners, also out of London, is investing in local companies with linkages to major Indian technology centers. Yazam, an Israeli-American outfit with offices in Reston, provides money but also services and contacts to start-ups.


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