Investment Strategy

SAIL's Cleantech Investment Strategy

We have developed a unique investment process that seeks to identify high return opportunities at relatively low risk. This model follows several of our internally developed guidelines, including:

  • Co-invest with high value added Partners
  • Focus on companies with customers under contract and rising revenues
  • Give priority to customer-focused companies with realistic potential for positive cash flow

Our team also benefits from exclusive access to a number of non-auction opportunities offered to us because of our reputation for adding value.

Exclusive Access
Together, SAIL's Partners have over two centuries of combined experience in key markets relevant to cleantech. This deep experience has created dedicated relationships with science and business advisors around the world. Through our exclusive networks, SAIL benefits from a high volume of proprietary, non-auction deal flow.

Unique Insight
The profound background and cleantech experience of our Partners provides us with a unique insight into the ultimate success of those investments we take into consideration. Our partners have led pioneering cleantech companies, created major environmental policies in force today and led transactions in this category before cleantech was a defined concept.

For example, Hank Habicht, a SAIL Partner that was COO of the EPA and Executive VP of Saftey-Kleen; yielding a unique blend of Clean Tech corporate and governmental perspectives at the highest levels.  Walter Schindler, a SAIL Partner with extraordinary depth and breadth of experience in corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions, was involved in the first United States IPO of an alternative energy company.  

Stringent Due Diligence
We engage in rigorous due diligence as a precursor to any investment decision. Through our team and networks, SAIL is able to call on the assistance of renowned experts such as leading scientists, technologists and engineers, to evaluate technologies under consideration. Our team closely evaluates companies' business plans and models, management teams, operations, overall financial picture and performance to date. We also develop concrete exit scenarios prior to making an investment.

Disruptive Technologies
We search the world for investment opportunities in unique or disruptive technologies. These technologies will have the greatest impact on the market and society in general and in turn, will benefit from a superior return on investment. One example, SAIL portfolio company SN Tech, Inc., developed and commercialized an affordable DC motor which uses 80% less energy than the most efficient motors on the market. The SN Tech motor is 10 times more efficient than those currently available at comparable prices. SAIL looks for similarly disruptive technologies whose introduction significantly alters a market or creates a new category.

Customer Driven Innovation
The key to success for cleantech companies is customer driven innovation. New products must be developed with a thorough understanding of the customer base, as well as the needs and behavior of target markets. SAIL explores portfolio companies with a strong customer focus in the development and commercialization of their products.

Global Capability
We are a nationally based venture capital firm with global reach. Our Portfolio Companies, Limited Partners, advisors and constituents are based around the world, giving us the capacity to understand emerging markets and foreign business plans, and execute investment transactions on a global basis while benefiting from local expertise.

World markets and infrastructure are undergoing a dramatic change. The opportunities are tremendous. However, the innovations that will prevail are those which create clear customer value, and are driven by successful teams and effective partnerships.