Cleantech Venture Investment Hits $2.6B

The fact that billions of venture dollars are flowing into cleantech on an annual basis isn’t a real shocker these days, but the latest report out from Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association deserves some attention. The report says U.S. venture capital firms invested $2.6 billion via 168 deals in the first three quarters of 2007. Once again it’s the “highest dollar volume ever,” exceeding the entire year of 2006.

The investment level is getting to be so high, they apparently felt the need to dampen enthusiasm a bit: “[I]nvesting in new technologies can be fraught with pitfalls and is not for the inexperienced or the faint of heart,” said NVCA president, Mark Heesen, in a canned press release comment. “[S]hort-term ‘tourists’ should steer clear.” Yes, leave it to the “experienced” investors who have already learned how to lose money in previous bubbles.

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By sector, solar took the cake, with 35 solar deals worth a total of $664.6 million. The U.S. company that had the largest investment during the nine-month period was cleaner coal company GreatPoint Energy (they call it Greenpoint in the release), which we’ve written about previously, with $115 million. The second-largest investment during the period was thin film solar company HelioVolt, which we covered here.
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Broken down by state, our own Cali is still topping the list, with 68 deals worth $726.2 million. Massachusett’s booming cleantech sector saw $292.6 million from 11 deals, and Texas took in $149.4 million of investment dollars from eight deals.
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Interestingly, this report says that while Draper Fisher Jurvetson had 14 deals worth $38.5 million, Khosla Ventures had 14 deals valued at $68.4 million, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had 11 deals valued at $76.8 million. That’s different than the numbers quoted from the same source via PeHub.com yesterday, which we referenced. We’ll check out the differences on the venture firm’s deals and update the post.

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