It’s no secret that it’s been a rocky road for many venture capitalists that have invested in greentech — their greentech investments haven’t made very many of them money. Now according to Dow Jones Venture Wire, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which has one of the largest greentech portfolios, is shifting away from investing in greentech startups.
The move seems to have been happening for awhile. Both DFJ partners Raj Atluru and Josh Raffaelli left DFJ months ago to join Silver Lake Kraftwerk and it doesn’t seem like they were ever replaced. DFJ’s managing director Don Wood told VentureWire that the deal flow “perhaps has shifted somewhat toward mobile, cloud and consumer web of late.”
Yet despite the reported (and yes, clear) shift, DFJ still seems to have made a few clean power bets this year. According to the Cleantech Group, DFJ was the most active investor in greentech in the first quarter of this year, with investments in companies including Solar Junction, Intematix, SCIenergy, Shanghai Dajun Technologies, Pentalum Technologies, Oasys Water, ēssess, Aveillant and Jing-Jin Electric (JJE).
Other VCs that have led investments in greentech companies over the years have also seemed to have waned on greentech. Both Kleiner’s Ray Lane and Bill Joy, who were greentech champions, weren’t named as general partners on Kleiner Perkins’ next fund. So basically they will continue to take care of their current investments, but they won’t go out looking for new ones for the next fund. While Kleiner says it’s not changing its strategy away from greentech, its actions seem to suggest that it is.
As Bill Gates has said, it’s still unclear how we’re going to reward the energy entrepreneur — which is worrisome.