About CEI Ventures
CEI Ventures manages socially responsible venture capital funds. The company was founded in 1994 to mobilize private capital markets while advancing social goals. CEI Ventures' owns balanced equity portfolios, diversified by geography, industry, stage of business development and social benefits. Often staged through multiple financing, target portfolio company investments will generally range from $1 million to $4 million.
CEI Ventures Headquarter Location
30 Federal Street Suite 100
Brunswick, Maine, 04011,
Latest CEI Ventures News
May 20, 2021
By John Reosti May 20, 2021, 11:14 a.m. EDT 2 Min Read REGISTER NOW Cambridge Savings Bank in Massachusetts has invested $500,000 in a venture capital fund that backs small businesses that produce higher-quality jobs. The $5.2 billion-asset mutual announced the investment in CEI Ventures’ Coastal Ventures V fund on Wednesday as part of an effort to diversify its community development investments. The bank previously had focused on low-income-tax-credit and other affordable housing projects, Chief Lending Officer Michael Lindgren said in an interview. Cambridge Savings was introduced to CEI Ventures, a subsidiary of Coastal Ventures — a Brunswick, Maine-based community development financial institution and the state's oldest CDFI — this year after CEI Ventures invested in one of its clients, a Naugatuck, Connecticut, food producer. “We did some research and found [CEI Ventures’] mission and business plan very compelling,” Lindgren said. Cambridge Savings’ initial plan was to invest $250,000. Its executive committee doubled the commitment “once we were fully aware of what this fund does,” Lindgren said. The investment in CEI Ventures tracks with the growth of its commercial-and-industrial portfolio over the past few years. As of March 31, commercial-and-industrial loans made up 17% of Cambridge Savings’ $4.2 billion loan portfolio, up from 11% two years earlier. “CSB’s interest in this investment opportunity was enhanced by the fund's focus on small-business community lending, which has clearly been CSB’s approach over many years," Lindgren said. Through its funds, CEI Ventures invests in small businesses across a wide range of industries to create and support jobs with higher compensation and more comprehensive benefits. Many of the businesses it supports operate in rural and underserved communities plagued by joblessness. “What we heard from investors, especially given the events of the past year, is a desire to grow good quality jobs in regions that typically draw little or no equity capital and where many jobs may have been lost permanently due to the pandemic,” CEI Ventures CEO Betsy Biemann said in a press release. Since organizing its first fund in 1996, CEI Ventures said it has invested in 64 small businesses, helping create 2,700 jobs. Banks rank among CEI Ventures’ strongest supporters. The Coastal Ventures V fund has 17 banks, including Cambridge Savings, among its investors. “We are delighted to add Cambridge Savings Bank as a partner,” Nat Henshaw, managing director at CEI, said in a press release. “Having a strong bank partner in the Boston market is very beneficial to us and our portfolio companies.” Coastal Ventures is also involved in organizing opportunity zone funds for bank investors. Lindgren said he expects the Coastal Ventures V fund to begin generating returns for investors after a few years. “Given the nature of these businesses, and of the investment as equity, it takes more time for these types of investments to mature,” he said. The fund’s projected yields are lower than other potential investments, but its social benefits align well with Cambridge Savings’ community development goals, Lindgren said. “We looked at this opportunity as being well worth the cost of a lower yield,” Lindgren said. During a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Democrats largely praised the policy decisions of acting regulators named by the Biden administration and knocked their predecessors. But Republicans warned that moves to reverse Trump-era policies would leave financial institutions without a clear road map. Only 0.9% of mortgage borrowers are currently at least 90 days delinquent. That figure could rise as high as 3.8% once pandemic-related deferrals lapse — still well below the 6% mark reached after the Great Recession, according to research by the New York Fed.
CEI Ventures Team
2 Team Members
CEI Ventures has 2 team members, including current Managing Director, Nathaniel V Henshaw.