Global private equity and venture capital news and research

De Beers VC arm opens in Silicon Valley

12 Oct 2011

The investment arm of Element Six, the synthetic diamond division of global gem giant De Beers, has opened a new office in Silicon Valley.

Located in Santa Clara at a planned synthetic diamond production site, Element Six Ventures will focus on broadening its portfolio of early-stage emerging-technology investments in the region.

“As well as capital, our team are able to leverage over 60 years of synthetic diamond material innovation, technological and commercial expertise. This know-how will enable our new capital partners to mitigate risk, and our portfolio companies to successfully accelerate market entry and profitability,” said Susie Wheeler, a managing director of Element Six Ventures.

“Synthetic diamond’s extreme properties enhance performance in new technology applications to levels not otherwise possible. Locating the office in Silicon Valley allows us to connect with new partners who, like us, want to develop these emerging technology investments,” she added.

An active investor worldwide since 2006, Element Six Ventures was established in 2006 and specialises in seed to late-stage technology ventures which utilise synthetic diamond and other supermaterials.

To date, the firm has invested in seven portfolio companies operating within the cleantech, semiconductor and electronics sectors.

These include California-based Group4 Labs, which develops Gallium Nitride-on-diamond semiconductor wafers for high frequency communication applications, and UK-based Diamond Detectors, which manufactures synthetic diamond radiation detectors which are used on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

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