Silicon Valley Business Journal
Navitas Capital founders Jim Pettit and Travis Putnam have found some success by focusing on cleantech investing since 2009, a time that the sector has fallen rapidly out of favor.
But they focus on a subsector that they believe remains strong — technology startups aimed at the commercial real estate and building industries.
Those investments include Milpitas-based smart window company View, which raised $100 million last month from a firm that represents Wal-Mart’s founding family.
Alameda-based Navitas’ focus, however, tends to be on earlier rounds and smaller investments from the $20 million fund it raised when it launched in 2009. The firm expects to start raising another fund later this year, with between $50 million and $70 million.
In a white paper issued last month, Pettit and Putnam cite a forecast by analyst firm IDC that the smart building market alone is expected to grow from about $5.5 billion in 2012 to about $18 billion in 2017.
The following Q&A contain excerpts of a conversation with Pettit about the white paper and the firm, edited for length and clarity.