DCP goes into venture capital business

Digital Coast Partners has tapped Brian Kaufman to serve as managing director of the merchant bank’s new Digital Media Group, which plans to fund Internet, software, communications and other tech ventures.

Kaufman will oversee a unit that will assess emerging technologies, provide venture planning services and secure financing for early- and later-stage ventures in the areas of broadband content, interactive television, content delivery networks and infrastructure development.

A typical Digital Coast Partners client will receive a $10 million-$30 million in first-round financing followed by a venture fund to include strategic and media partners, the company said.

Similarly, Los Angeles-based Shelter Ventures said in March that it plans to invest $300 million in Southern California-based dot-coms and other tech ventures.

Kaufman will report to Michael Montgomery, co-CEO of L.A.-based Digital Coast Partners.

“The evolution of Internet commerce and the deployment of broadband technologies are propagating startup digital media businesses that require financial backing and the counsel of experienced strategic advisers,” Montgomery said. “Nowhere is this more true than in Southern California, where the entertainment industry is eagerly exploring the possible business opportunities arising. With Brian at the helm of the digital media group, we aim to be the front-runner serving these new businesses.”

Financial background

Prior to joining Digital Coast Partners, Kaufman was a principal at Imperial Capital in Beverly Hills, where he sourced and executed leveraged buyouts and private equity investments.

Kaufman also co-founded Kirkland Messina, an L.A.-based boutique merchant bank focusing on leveraged buyouts of middle-market companies.

He was also an associate in the business and technology group at the San Francisco law offices of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison.

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