Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Ira Ehrenpreis and Nancy Pfund, two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc., have raised a $400 million venture capital fund as part of San Francisco venture firm DBL Partners. DBL and its predecessor fund, J.P. Morgan Bay Area Equity Fund, invested early in companies such as Tesla and Pandora Media.

DBL’s definition of social impact is open-ended, from a commitment to diversity–three of the five startups the new fund already backed are founded by women, for example, to producing clean energy, to enabling reuse of materials in a supply chain, to creating employment in economically depressed locations. DBL will use the new fund to make investments of about $10 million to $20 million per company, in a variety of sectors, including clean tech, health care and information technology. Ms. Pfund said that most investments will be for early-stage startups.

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