D. R. Horton Inc. to Invest $100M in Internet VC Fund

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. D. R. Horton Inc., the Arlington, Texas-based Giant is doing just that.

April 2, 2000

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. D. R. Horton Inc., the Arlington, Texas-based Giant is doing just that. To grab a stake in the soaring technology sector, Horton officials announced March 13 that it is partnering with a Santa Monica-based venture capital firm to launch a $100 million fund seeking e-commerce and Internet opportunities that relate to the real estate and home building industries.

But this is not Horton’s first foray into the technology investment arena. Previously, the company invested $25 million with Encore Venture Partners’ EVP I fund. It also focused on e-commerce opportunities on the Internet and yielded an investment in Greensboro, N.C.-based BuildNet.

The $100 million would be invested over a four-year period as opportunities are identified, the company said. Horton has committed to investing at least $50 million.

In recognition of the importance of this set for the company, Horton’s president Richard Beckwitt will co-direct the new fund and will leave his position and take a board seat with D. R. Horton Inc.

Horton’s chairman, Donald R. Horton says the investment will not alter the company’s core home building focus but rather acknowledges the structural changes being made to existing business models based on the Internet.

"We plan to enhance shareholder value by capitalizing on our industry-sector expertise by extending the reach of our existing businesses and creating and funding new business opportunities," Horton said in a release from the company.

The company is partnering with Encore Capital California whose managing partner, Joseph Reece, will co-direct the fund with Richard Beckwitt. Called EVP II, the fund will focus on infrastructure, business-to-business e-commerce.

"Opportunities for home builders, real estate companies and building materials suppliers are evolving daily," Beckwitt noted. "EVP II intends to invest in businesses and technologies that increase the efficiency in the home building, real estate development, and sales processes."

Company vice chairman and chief executive Donald J. Tomnitz will assume the role of president vacated by Beckwitt.

Also See:

Out Of Whack On Wall Street

Wall Street Overlooks Demographic Strength

Lennar-U.S. Home: Priority Given to Technology Initiatives


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