Editor’s note: This is Local Tech Wire’s 19th in a series of profiles of venture capital and investment firms working in the Carolinas and georgia. The series was compiled by Matthew Burns and Daniel pearson. Last year’s merger of Centura Banks with Royal Bank of Canada has put the venture activities of RBC Centura Capital on an indefinite hiatus as the parent company sorts out its future plans for the Charlotte-based operation.

RBC Centura, however, has created a technology banking group called Knowledge Based Industries that is modeled after a similar activity in Canada. KBI is based in Raleigh and provides loans, deposit, investment banking, as well as other banking services to information technology and life science companies headquartered in the Southeast. The Canadian operation has been in existence for 15 years and has more than 2,500 companies as partners. Brent Keating, Chris Julich, and Rob Mitchell are the lead bankers for this new unit.

Centura Capital was formed in 1996 to provide primarily subordinated debt to mid-stage companies with positive cash flow but insufficient collateral to obtain a traditional loan.

The firm had focused its $10 million fund on non-technology companies, such as Southern Assisted Living, Security Services of America, United Emergency Services and furniture makers Foam Tech and Brestl, although it invested in Beacon Technologies, a software services company, as well as V3 Systems, a software company that improves companies’ management of their supply chain.

Royal Bank of Canada has traditionally focused its venture activities on young technology companies through its capital markets group , so it recently put a hold on new investments by RBC Centura Capital that could last into 2003. The firm continues to work with its current portfolio of 10 companies and refers potential investments to the six funds run by Royal Bank of Canada or to its venture partners, including Kitty Hawk Capital, Aurora, Intersouth, Academy Venture Funds, Blue Water, and Research Triangle Ventures.

To reach KBI in Raleigh, call (919) 788-7573.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: RBC Centura Capital

Mailing address:

PO Box 6261
Charlotte, NC 28207

Phone number: (704)686-1451

Web site: www.centuracapital.com

Management Team:

Bob Anders
Rob Mitchell

Focus of firm: General

Size of current fund: $20 million

Money under management: $20 million

How many of those dollars have been invested: $9 million

Companies funded in 2001: 4 (no details provided)

Companies funded over the last five years (amount and round for each co.): 16 companies (no details provided)

How many new deals do you expect to fund in 2002: 0

In what size range: n/a

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Growth capital or mezzanine debt.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Management, proprietary product, positive earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization.

What differentiates you: The size of typical transaction is less than $1.5 million with focus on middle-market companies in mid-Atlantic states. Partnership with RBC Centura banking professionals, ability to direct all forms of capital, including senior debt and equity, and financial advisory capability are well established throughout North Carolina.

Friday’s profile: Readleaf Group.