Venture leasing vet unveils TriplePoint firm

Former Comdisco Ventures CEO Jim Labe came out of stealth mode this month and announced his new firm, TriplePoint Capital, a venture leasing and lending company that’s backed with $310 million from institutional financiers and investment banks.

TriplePoint Capital is based on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif., in digs that are close to Benchmark Capital and DCM-Doll Capital Management, but TriplePoint is not a venture firm. TriplePoint provides equipment leases and loans, growth capital loans, expansion loans and other forms of debt to venture-backed companies, from the startup stages through an IPO and beyond.

The firm targets VC-backed companies in information technology, life sciences and other high-growth industries, such as clean tech. The client roster includes companies backed by such firms as InterWest Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mayfield Fund and Sequoia Capital.

TriplePoint doesn’t rely on raising specific funds that are invested in portfolio companies. “Instead, our permanent balance sheet ensures our stability and longevity, which aligns our interests with those of our customers,” Labe says.

Labe – who’s joined at TriplePoint by COO Sajal Srivastava, another Comdisco veteran – is credited with developing the venture leasing business in the 1980s. Before Comdisco, he was a director at Equitec Leasing Company, a division of Equitec Financial Group, where he worked on venture leasing and lending. In 1987, he left Equitec and founded Comdisco, which became known for venture leasing and lending.

Labe says he grew Comdisco’s annual sales from scratch to more than $670 million, before leaving last year.

Labe is confident that venture lending services will continue to grow as entrepreneurs will always look for ways to raise money while they maintain ownership in their startups.