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The VC exodus away from cleantech startup investing continues. One of Europe’s most well-known venture firms, Index Ventures, has closed a new €350 million fund for early stage companies and Index partner Mike Volpi tells Fortune that the firm is no longer focusing on cleantech investments. When Index launched its first early stage fund back in early 2009, cleantech was one of the three sectors it said it would focus on, as well as IT and life sciences.
Volpi is quoted as saying:
“We looked at a lot of deals but didn’t think that many had the same potential as tech deals, because they relied too much on subsidies. We did a couple, including a tire recycling company, but I wouldn’t say that it’s still a focus.”
Index is just the latest venture firm to decide that cleantech investing isn’t so compatible with the venture capital model. Draper Fisher Jurvetson also has shied away from cleantech investing in recent month. 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.
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 otherwise.