Summary:

More third quarter greentech venture financing numbers are out this morning, and yep, they’re still bad. According to Ernst & Young, greentech VC investments in the third quarter of 2010 were down 55 percent below Q3 2009. That’s one of the highest reported drops I’ve seen.

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More third-quarter greentech venture financing numbers are out this morning, and yep, they’re still bad. According to Ernst & Young, greentech VC investments in the third quarter of 2010 were down 55 percent from the third quarter of 2009. That’s one of the highest reported drops I’ve seen, and other figures, like those from researchers at the Cleantech Group, show the drop to be closer to under 15 percent (see Cleantech’s Third Quarter Growing Pains, subscription required).

Regardless of the range in the drop, the trends that explain why there’s less funding for the quarter seem to be consistent across research companies. Both Ernst & Young and the Cleantech Group found that there were far fewer early-stage deals, and many more late-stage deals, as many maturing greentech companies have failed to find exits and are raising more funding to prop themselves up.

The threat of Prop 23 — which is being voted on this Tuesday and would suspend California’s climate change law — also seems to be having a cooling effect on funding greentech firms in the state. According to Ernst & Young, greentech VC investment in California fell 71 percent to $295 million, and the number of deals fell by 44 percent. Ernst & Young analysts attributed the overall funding drop to “ongoing volatility.”

Some of the few bright spots in the third quarter were investments in energy efficiency and the continued trend of more attention from corporate investors like GE, General Motors, and Intel.

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