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Back in 2006 there was much cheering from the cleantech industry when cleantech venture investing became the third largest category, trailing information technology and biotechnology. Many wondered if it would ever hit the top spot. Well, we can now thank the recession and government funding for […]

Back in 2006 there was much cheering from the cleantech industry when cleantech venture investing became the third largest category, trailing information technology and biotechnology. Many wondered if it would ever hit the top spot. Well, we can now thank the recession and government funding for the category taking the lead for the first time: This morning the Cleantech Group has published numbers that say venture investments in cleantech startups are continuing to rebound and for the third quarter of 2009 have finally eclipsed biotech and IT investing in the U.S.

Much of that rebound had to do with government funding in the sector. As Dallas Kachan, Managing Director, Cleantech Group pointed out in a statement: “The largest deals in VC (Tesla Motors), PE (Solyndra) and the largest IPO (A123Systems) this quarter were all recipients of U.S. government funding.” The Cleantech Group says that clean technology venture investments for North America, Europe, China and India hit $1.39 billion for 133 companies, which was about the same as the second quarter of 2009, but up from the drop in the first quarter of 2009 and the last quarter of 2008. Analysts at Greentech Media found similar numbers with $1.9 billion in 112 deals in the third quarter of 2009 for cleantech venture investments.

On a conference call Kachan said that cleantech venture investing in the U.S. made up 27 percent of overall venture investing, while biotech made up 24 percent, and software made up 18 percent. However, it’s unclear if cleantech will remain at the top of the venture investing ladder, after the government funding drops off (see our The End is Near: How to Prep for Life After the Greentech Stimulus).

Like the previous quarter, transportation — vehicles, biofuels and batteries — remained the highest area of cleantech investment, with $383 million in investment, for firms like Tesla, Think Automotive and Amyris.

Solar investments followed transportation, with $253 million in investments, while green buildings had a surprisingly strong turn out with $110 million. My favorite portion is always the venture firms that were the most active and for the third quarter Intel Capital led the way with 6 investments, followed by Kleiner Perkins with 5, New Enterprise Associates with 4, and Braemar Energy Ventures with 4.

  1. [...] Consulting said this morning that in the third quarter — for the first time ever — cleantech made up the largest portion of U.S. venture investment, with 134 companies taking in $1.59 billion. Cleantech investments accounted for 27 percent of [...]

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  2. [...] posted here: "Rebound!: Cleantech Becomes the Largest Venture Sector" and related posts Tags: Automotive, Business, clean-power, government, green, largest, open-source, third 0 [...]

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  3. [...] categories in cleantech. A study released by the Cleantech Group on Wednesday found that the transportation category, which includes biofuels, along with vehicles and batteries, raised the most money in the third quarter, while Greentech Media, which grouped biofuels with [...]

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  4. [...] about 100 years I suppose- but I’m feeling pretty positive about the recent news that Cleantech has become the largest U.S. venture capital sector. and that China’s cleantech market was now [...]

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  5. [...] Last month numbers from the Cleantech Group showed that clean technology, for the first time ever, had become the number 1 investment category in the U.S. in the third quarter of this year, moving ahead of biotech and IT investing. While that says a lot about the venture investing industry in general (the numbers are still relatively low right now), cleantech is an area that has seen a massive amount of government funding (largely from the stimulus) and international attention. And there’s more supportive legislation in the works. This is an environment that investors clearly like. [...]

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  6. [...] VC money.Cleantech companies received  just under $1 billion in funding. Katie over at Earth2Tech recently covered the venture capital investment trends including the recent [...]

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  7. [...] as the stimulus funds run out or the price of gas drops low enough — the industry actually became the largest venture sector last quarter in the U.S., eclipsing U.S. investment in biotech and IT. Yes, a lot of those plays had to do with [...]

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  8. [...] Sam stepped in with the stimulus package and helped turn clean power and energy efficiency into the largest venture investing sector in the U.S., eclipsing infotech and biotech for the first time ever. Clean power, smart grid, greener [...]

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