RealTime IT News

And Now, Venture Capital for the Masses

Early stage venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson is forming a new $500 million venture fund in conjunction with meVC.com, and the twist is that individual investors may participate.

"Venture capital has historically only been available to millionaires and large institutional investors," said Tim Draper, founder and managing director of the firm. "We want to allow the small investor a chance to participate in this important driver of the U.S. economy."

The first fund with meVC.com is set up to help finance private Internet start-ups throughout the United States with the help of the Draper Affiliate Network.

The Draper Affiliate Network currently includes Zone Ventures of Los Angeles, Draper Atlantic of Northern Virginia, Draper Triangle of Pittsburgh, Wasatch Ventures of Salt Lake City, Timberline Ventures of Vancouver, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson's yet unnamed New York City office.

The network is growing at the rate of one new fund per quarter. Draper Fisher Jurvetson funded Internet start-up. meVC.com with $4.5 million to help drive the front end of this new fund.

meVC, a national venture capital investment management firm, said it "offers individual investors the opportunity to participate in the formation and wealth creation of the new economy through venture capital investing."

Through a family of professionally managed, diversified venture capital funds, meVC said it intends to provide individual investors "unprecedented access to early-stage, emerging growth companies before their initial public offerings."

meVC, along with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, intends to create a national network of venture capital and management services to support innovation and help entrepreneurs build successful businesses. meVC was founded in June 1999 and completed its second round of venture financing in October.