Crunching the numbers on venture capital investments in green technology companies in 2009, Greentech Media Research (GTM) finds the sector both weathered this year’s financial storm, and thrived in terms of total deals. More startups shared the wealth in 2009, with 356 deals, up from 350 deals in 2008 and just 222 deals in 2007
But the economy, of course did play a factor, in the overall money flowing. A total of $4.85 billion was poured into greentech in 2009, GTM reported this week. That’s significantly less capital than the sector saw in 2008 — a record-breaking year with $7.6 billion in investment.
Still, according to cleantech VC Ira Ehrenpreis, a general partner at Technology Partners, in GTM’s release, 2009 marks “one of the strongest years ever in the history of the cleantech sector.”
Key trends this year include growing investment from outside the U.S. (mainly from the UK and France), “plentiful government funding” for renewable energy,” and “a return to early stage deals with more than 110 Series A and seed rounds this year.” And the research firm predicts the recent IPO registrations by Solyndra and Codexis will be followed by a “wave” of greentech IPOs in 2010. In addition, the industry (in particular the solar sector) is poised for consolidation next year.
Solar power grabbed the most investment in 2009, as it has for the last four years. This week’s report says the solar segment pulled in more than $1.4 billion in 84 deals. Biofuels came in at number two, with $976 million in 44 rounds. Several other segments are “gaining momentum,” including the smart grid, energy storage, automotive, wind, water and lighting. GTM notes, “Water has finally made it onto venture capital radar screens,” picking up more than $130 million in 33 deals. For the full rundown, you can download GTM’s report here.