Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cleantech Funding at Record $2.6B in Q3

Clean technology investments in North America, Europe, China and India increased 17 percent between the second and third quarters of this year to a record $2.6 billion, according to a report released Wednesday.  The money invested in 158 companies increased 37 percent compared to the same quarter last year, the report by the Cleantech Group said. The $6.6 billion total for such venture investments through the third quarter already exceeds the full-year 2007 total of $6 billion.

U.S. companies received a record $1.75 billion in 77 financing rounds, accounting for 67 percent of the global total. California-based companies received about 42 percent of the global total, with a record $1.1 billion in 35 investments.  “Cleantech venture investing has continued to show strong growth despite the unprecedented turmoil in the credit markets during the quarter,” said Michael Goguen, managing partner, Sequoia Capital and co-chair of the North American advisory board of the Cleantech Group’s Cleantech Network.

Cleantech sectors which posted all-time highs in the quarter were: 

-- THIN-FILM SOLAR: Solar energy companies using thin-film technology raised $620 million. CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) startups raised the most capital, including San Jose-based SoloPower Inc. at $200 million; Hayward-based OptiSolar Inc. at $78 million; and Santa Clara-based Miasole Inc. at $35 million. German CIS (copper-indium-sulfide) provider Sulfurcell Solartechnik raised $134 million.  AVA Solar in Colorado, which uses cadmium telluride technology, raised $104 million. UK-based G24 Innovations raised $30 million for its flexible organic dye thin film technology.

 -- SMART GRID: Companies that are developing ways to use advanced sensing, communication and control technology to generate and control electricity raised a record $202 million in 3Q08. Leading in this sector were Virginia-based Gridpoint Inc., which raised $120 million; Redwood City-based Trilliant Inc. at $40 million; Pennsylvania-based BPL Global Ltd. at $23 million; and Maryland-based Eka Systems Inc. at $18.5 million.

 -- ALGAE: Third quarter investments in ways to produce energy from algae of $95 million topped a record $84 million in the second quarter. Sonoma-based Sapphire Energy Inc. raised at least another $50 million while Solazyme Inc. in South San Francisco raised over $45 million.

Rockport Capital Partners, with offices in Boston and Menlo Park, made the most investments in the quarter with six. Mountain View-based Google Inc. was next with five. Making four each were Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Khosla Ventures of Menlo Park and Advanced Technology Ventures with offices in Palo Alto and Waltham, Mass.


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