Kleiner Grows Green Funds, Al Gore's Cleantech Billions

Former Vice President and climate change crusader Al Gore has found himself with access to a massive $1.88 billion earmarked for cleantech investments, spread across three separate funds and two investment firms — Kleiner Perkins and Climate Solutions Fund. Two of the funds recently closed their rounds and should start doling out the dough to worthy cleantech startups soon.

The first $683 billion is the Climate Solutions Fund which Generation Investment Management closed yesterday. A “crossover” fund, the money will be invested in both public and private companies working in sustainable research.

Across the pond at Gore’s stateside venture capital employers, Kleiner Perkins, have just closed its thirteenth fund (KPCB XIII) with $700 million for early-stage investments. Kleiner did not say how much of this fund would go into cleantech investments, but the firm is in the process of investing a third of its last $600 million fund in cleantech ventures. Also, the new fund will be co-managed by new Kleiner partner Ben Kortlang, who previously managed alternative energy investments at Goldman Sachs.

Separately, Kleiner has also created a $500 million “Green Growth Fund” specifically targeted at growth stage cleantech companies. PENews first reported the news, which we covered here, and today the firms confirmed with these large announcements. All told, that’s $1.883 billion worth of newly filled green venture pots for Gore to dole out as he sees fit.

Generation’s Climate Solutions Fund was raised from the firm’s existing investor base and will be invested in the areas of renewable energy technologies, building efficiency, cleaner fossil energy, sustainable agriculture and carbon markets. David Blood, Generation’s CEO, said in the release that there is still “a significant gap between the capital needed and the capital currently deployed to create enduring solutions to the climate crisis.” This echoes Doerr’s recent remarks that it’s “almost criminal” we aren’t investing more in cleantech.

Kleiner’s 13th fund will be invested over the next three years in early-stage cleantech companies as well as entrepreneurs in information technology and life sciences ventures. Kleiner’s Green Growth Fund is notably different because it will be used exclusively for cleantech investments in the growth stage with the clear goal of getting climate solutions onto the mass market.

All of this money makes Al Gore one of the most well-funded investors around. If Gore is so good at fundraising, perhaps he should be running for president again.