You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 : 2:51 p.m.

Ann Arbor-based EDF Ventures wins big after Greenplum sale tops $275M HandyLab deal

By Nathan Bomey

Ann Arbor investment firm EDF Ventures is poised to reap another huge influx of cash after Massachusetts-based EMC Corp. acquired California-based data storage firm Greenplum, an EDF investment since 2004.

Details of the Greenplum acquisition were not released, but EDF Ventures founder Mary Campbell told today that it was a larger financial transaction than November's $275 million sale of Pittsfield Township-based HandyLab to Becton, Dickinson and Co.

"If we could have an exit every 12 months or so, then I think we would be in a position of enthusiastically going to market to raise a new fund," Campbell said.

EDF Ventures founder Mary Campbell.jpg

EDF Ventures founder Mary Campbell

File photo |

EDF, which has $175 million in capital under management, is considered a pioneer in Michigan's venture capital community.

The company focuses most of its investments on the health care sector and information technology industry. Its investments include local firms like biotech firms Lycera and Cerenis Therapeutics and IT security firm Arbor Networks. Campbell is a personal investor in wind energy device startup Accio Energy.

That Campbell believes EDF may be able to raise another investment fund could boost the Ann Arbor region's entrepreneurial community by offering up additional capital for startup companies.

EDF is still celebrating the blockbuster sale of HandyLab, a University of Michigan spinoff company whose rapid infection-detection system set off a bidding war among possible suitors. Ann Arbor investment firms Ardesta, led by Michigan gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder, and Arboretum Ventures also benefited from the HandyLab deal.

Campbell said that Greenplum's strategy of refusing to apply its data storage systems to specific hardware was a key differentiator among its competitors.

The demand for additional data storage also fueled EMC's interest in Greenplum.

"The storage capacity needed for business intelligence has just grown exponentially," Campbell said. "When we first invested, they were approaching selling data storage capacity by the terabyte and now they’re into petabytes."

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.