Enlightenment Capital Closes Investment Fund Well Above Its Target

Chevy Chase-based investment firm Enlightenment Capital closed its third fund Thursday after fundraising excelled well past its $200 million target.

The $250 million fund reached its hard cap following the firm’s recent investments in local companies like McLean’s Trowbridge & Trowbridge and Chantilly’s System High Corp. It marks Enlightenment’s third investment fund after seeing the fruition of a $147 million fund in 2016 and an $80 million fund in 2014.

“We greatly appreciate the investors who continue to support us, as well as the new investors who are partnering with us for the first time,” said Devin Talbott, Enlightenment Capital’s managing partner, in a statement.

The firm, which was founded in 2012 by Talbott and Pierre Chao, invests in mid-sized aerospace, defense and government services companies, particularly ones that are headed by founder-CEOs, and span a range of services, from cyber, data, IT and drone services.

Those investments can run from $10 million to $50 million and have been designed to bolster companies’ growth, such as was the case with System High Corp., or could include overall acquisitions, like with last’s months buy of Trowbridge & Trowbridge.

Enlightenment, which employs seven people in its Chevy Chase headquarters, formed a government services company in October called EverWatch out of four previous companies to serve the defense and intelligence market. That same month, it took a stake in Fairfax-based Emagine IT, a cyber, cloud and analytics consulting firm.

System High’s investment came in January, followed by the Trowbridge buy in April, almost a year after the initial launch of its third fund.