Nationally, four of the 10 biggest VC deals in the first quarter of 2008 were in alternative energy, according to the National Venture Capital Association. About $625 million was invested in 44 deals, marking a 51 percent increase from the first quarter of 2007.
The big flow of VC money into alternative energy technologies shows that capitalists really aren't permanently wedded to oil. Investors will put their money into anything they see as having a reasonable chance of earning good returns on the money invested.
One VC firm alone just raised $450 million for clean tech investing. Most of that money probably hasn't been invested it. It takes time to find suitable prospects.
RockPort Capital Partners says it has closed its third venture capital fund, pulling in commitments of more than $450 million to be focused on clean technology investments.
A lot of ways to make solar, wind, batteries, biomass, and other potential energy sources are going to get tried with all this money.
Vinod Khosla is reportedly angling for $640 million from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). CalPERS would become Khosla Ventures’ only other limited partner if it puts up the money.
Khosla, famed Sun Microsystems co-founder and Khosla Ventures founder, , is fond of ethanol companies such as Range Fuels in Broomfield, Colo. and Mascoma in Boston. These are companies with capital-intensive projects, and that makes the $244 billion CalPERS a valuable partner for Khosla.
Still, while good greentech exits may be few and far between for now, some analysts and companies believe they are just around the corner (see Greentech Exits Ahead? and Funding Roundup: Solar, Biofuels Dominate Light Week).
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2008 June 18 10:36 PM Energy Policy|