4 Comments

Summary:

Former hedge-funder-turned-philanthropist — and greentech investor — David Gelbaum won’t be donating his usual $20 million to the American Civil Liberties Union this year. Nor will he contribute to the Sierra Club or the California Community Foundation’s Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund. Put simply, it’s been a […]

Former hedge-funder-turned-philanthropist — and greentech investor — David Gelbaum won’t be donating his usual $20 million to the American Civil Liberties Union this year. Nor will he contribute to the Sierra Club or the California Community Foundation’s Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund.

Put simply, it’s been a rough year for Gelbaum, who cited “a shift in my financial circumstances” as the reason he’s reining in his contributions, in an interview with the New York Times. Those financial circumstances could potentially mean disappointment for any cleantech startups pinning their hopes on a big investment from Gelbaum’s Quercus Trust — which according to the Cleantech Group was the third-most active venture fund investing in cleantech in all of 2008.

Gelbuam had a 20-company portfolio of clean energy stocks worth more than $400 million as of December 2007, New Energy Finance reported. Most of that portfolio consisted of small- and micro-cap clean energy stocks, but increasingly Gelbaum has been making venture funding deals.

Some of the Quercus Trust’s biggest plays in recent years have included leading investment rounds of more than $35 million for solar developer WorldWater & Solar Technology and $15 million for smart grid company GridPoint. Gelbaum’s firm has also joined rounds (often with co-investor 21 Ventures) for solar startup Lightwave Power, green building solutions company Standard Rnewable Energy, early-stage ultracapacitor developer Graphene Energy and energy management startup Advanced Telemetry (check out our list of 10 Cleantech Deals from Quiet Quercus).

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

By Josie Garthwaite

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Quiet Quercus Trust Chief Gelbaum Signs On as Solar CEO Monday, February 8, 2010

    [...] Gelbaum, who was already Chairman and a major shareholder for Entech Solar, comes on the heels of a rough year for the investor. In December 2009, he revealed that “a shift in my financial circumstances” had forced him to [...]

  2. David Gelbaum, Clean Energy Investor, Remains Bullish Despite the Downturn « Don at Dawn Monday, February 15, 2010

    [...] quickly sprang up online. “David Gelbaum Cuts Donations – Bye-Bye, Greentech Plays?” read a recent headline on Earth2Tech.com, a green energy [...]

  3. David Gelbaum, Clean Energy Investor, Remains Bullish Despite the Downturn | Class4Winds | Amarillo, Texas Thursday, February 18, 2010

    [...] quickly sprang up online. “David Gelbaum Cuts Donations – Bye-Bye, Greentech Plays?” read a recent headline on Earth2Tech.com, a green energy [...]

  4. David Gelbaum Opens the Kimono, A Bit Sunday, May 9, 2010

    [...] and I’ve lost money in this business. It’s just part of the general shortage of credit.” Last December Gelbaum said he would have to rein in his contributions to some charities because of “a shift in my financial [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post