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May 9, 2013

State Pension Fund Invests $568,000 In Fieldlens

DiNapoli: Private Equity Program Provides Investment Returns
for State Pension Fund and Helps New York Companies Grow

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced a $568,000 investment in FieldLens, creator of a mobile and web application designed for the construction industry. The investment was made through High Peaks Venture Partners, SoftBank Capital and Contour Venture Partners. The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) is an investor in these funds through its In-State Private Equity Program.

“FieldLens has designed a much-needed mobile application for the construction industry and provides an ideal investment opportunity for the Fund,” DiNapoli said. “The Fund’s In-State Private Equity Program is designed to provide risk-adjusted returns to fund state and local pension benefits. At the same time, sound, strategic investments in new and expanding New York companies contribute to the growth and strength of the state’s economy.”

FieldLens, located in New York City, has created an application to improve communication between construction professionals while working on job sites. The new application compiles important project data in one place for efficiency.

The In-State Private Equity Program, established in 2000, partners the Fund with private equity managers investing in New York-based companies. The program generates investment returns for the Fund while expanding the availability of capital for expansion for New York businesses.

Highlights of the In-State Private Equity Program (as of December 2012) include:

  • More than $1 billion has been committed to the program since 2001 of which $641 million has been invested in 246 companies. The program currently has $385 million available for investment.
  • DiNapoli has committed $574 million to the program since he took office in 2007.
  • Investments have generated more than 3,000 new jobs.
  • Companies in which the Fund has invested have raised nearly $4 billion in additional capital.

"We are honored that the New York State Common Retirement Fund via their relationship with High Peaks Venture Partners has chosen to invest in FieldLens, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to build FieldLens into the construction industry's leading mobile communication and collaboration platform," FieldLens CEO Doug Chambers said.

"We are thrilled to have led FieldLens' seed financing through our partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. This is exactly the sort of opportunity about which we are most excited – opportunities to back entrepreneurs with deep domain experience who are taking advantage of new platforms to attack markets that have fallen behind in their utilization of technology,” said Brad Svrluga, general partner, High Peaks Venture Partners.

"FieldLens is one of those rare New York-based start-ups that has the combination of extraordinary entrepreneur, gigantic market opportunity and is a truly disruptive technology that will serve to revolutionize an industry. The In-State Private Equity Program provides an opportunity for us to be a part of the construction industry’s upcoming monumental project management changes, said Jordan Levy, partner, SoftBank Capital.

“This investment with the Common Retirement Fund will provide FieldLens with the resources to attack a pervasive problem within the very large construction market. We are excited that Doug experienced these issues first hand over many years and as a result has developed a robust solution to address the widespread inefficiencies associated with a construction project,” said Matt Gorin, co-founder and managing partner, Contour Venture Partners.

For more information about the In-State Private Equity Program or company eligibility, visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/pension/instate/.

About FieldLens
FieldLens is a mobile and web app providing construction professionals with a platform for realtime communication and field collaboration. FieldLens applies familiar social media concepts like newsfeeds, video, tagging and sharing, to field communication such as task management, progress reporting, punchlist and more from any smartphone, tablet or computer. For more information, visit www.fieldlens.com.

About High Peaks Venture Partners
High Peaks Venture Partners is a New York-based venture capital firm that makes seed and early stage investments in industry transforming software and internet companies. We are active investors who work closely with our companies, focusing our investing on the New York market to maximize our impact. We have a particular focus on b2b SaaS and ecommerce, two of the real strengths of the dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York City. For more information, visit www.highpeaks.vc/.

About SoftBank Capital
SoftBank Capital is an independent venture capital firm focused on early stage high growth
technology-based businesses benefiting from the rapid deployment and adoption of broadband, eCommerce and mobile technologies. For more information, visit www.softbank.com.

About Contour Venture
Contour Venture Partners invests in technology startups focused on the financial services, digital media, applied technology and internet sectors. Contour has a long track record of growing seed and early stage companies, having invested in over 40 companies since inception. For more information, visit www.contourventures.com.


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