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Braemar Energy Ventures Looking to Raise $300M Fund

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Nine-year-old energy-focused venture capital firm Braemar Energy Ventures is looking to raise $300 million for its latest fund, Braemar Energy Ventures III, according to an SEC filing. The firm has just started on the fund raise and hasn’t closed on any of the funds yet, according to the document.

Braemar is one of a select group of venture capital firms that are solely focused on next-generation energy technologies. As I wrote earlier this week, it seems like a significant portion of the general venture capital firms that got into cleantech investing a few years ago have now pulled back after not having much success, and the cleantech specific firms are taking over. Last week, Mass High Tech published an interesting article looking at data about 10 venture firms that made five or more new cleantech deals between 2003 and 2008, and then completely pulled back from new cleantech investments after 2008.

Braemar has had a few successful exits, including lithium ion battery company A123 Systems (s AONE), which went public back in 2009, algae fuel company Solazyme, which filed its S-1 to go public late last year (OK not yet an exit), and EnerNOC (s ENOC), the demand response player that was one of the first next-gen energy companies to go public. Other companies that Braemar has backed include nuclear fusion company General Fusion (which just closed a round this week), ultracapacitor maker Ioxus, solar company Stion, and virtual power plant company Viridity Energy (one of our 10 Big Ideas Green:Net 2011 winners).

While $300 million isn’t such a large fund — compared to what Silver Lake Kraftwerk or VantagePoint Venture Partners will likely raise — Braemar commonly makes investments of between $1 million to $10 million into early stage companies — like its nuclear fusion startup or ocean seeding company Climos. Braemar says it also makes some later stage investments.

I’ll be interested to hear about if Braemar’s strategy will shift with its new fund (we contacted them and are waiting to hear back), given a few other new cleantech funds seem to be shifting to later stage investing. But Braemar has been investing since 2002, so it has legs in the space.

Image courtesy of Tracy O.