Q&A: NAVITAS VC JIM PETTIT INVESTS IN NEW TECH FOR BUILDERS
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.