| World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi, UAE |
October 2, 2008
Cleantech venture investment reaches record of $2.6 billion in 3Q08
Despite broader market downturn, 2008 year-to-date cleantech investment
already exceeds 2007 record level
The Cleantech Groupô, founders of the cleantech investment category
and providers of leading global market
research and financial services for the cleantech ecosystem, today
announced 3Q08 results for cleantech venture investments in North
America, Europe, China and India totaling $2.6 billion across 158
companies, an all-time record quarter. The previous record quarter was
2Q08, which saw $2.2 billion in cleantech venture investments.
The 3Q08 total is a 37 percent increase over the same period a year ago,
and 17 percent increase over 2Q08. Cleantech venture investments through
3Q08 now total $6.6 billion, exceeding the full-year 2007 total of $6.0 billion.
"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, the largest global network of cleantech investors and
companies. "In the coming quarters, we could foresee large scale
cleantech projects having to work harder to get financed. However, the
capital efficient, early-stage companies addressing the inefficiencies
of existing markets should see continued venture financings."
Highlights from the quarter include an all-time high for smart grid
companies, algae companies, and thin-film solar companies:
SMART GRID: Smart grid companies raised a record $202 million in 3Q08,
led by Gridpoint, which raised $120 million, Trilliant at $40 million,
BPL Global at $23 million, and Eka Systems at $18.5 million. By
comparison, over the past 10 quarters, smart grid companies raised
slightly under $30 million per quarter.
ALGAE: Following a record 2Q08 which saw $84 million in investments in
algae, 3Q08 saw over $95 million in investments. Sapphire Energy raised
at least another $50 million while Solazyme raised over $45 million.
THIN-FILM SOLAR: Thin-film startups raised a staggering $620 million in
investments in 3Q08. CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) startups
raised the most capital, including SoloPower at $200 million, OptiSolar
at $78 million, and Miasole at $35 million, while German CIS
(copper-indium-sulfide) provider Sulfurcell Solartechnik raised $134
million. AVA Solar, a competitor to First Solar in the cadmium telluride
space, raised $104 million, while UK-based G24 Innovations raised $30
million for its flexible organic dye thin film technology.
"The impending production of electric vehicles by major manufacturers,
which will require utility companies to improve the electrical grid to
manage plug-in vehicles, has spurred investment in smart grid
companies," said Brian Fan, Senior Director of Research for the
Cleantech Group. Fan added, "We have seen the arms race in thin-film
solar reach new heights, and now we are seeing it in the algae sector,
as investors funnel ever-increasing amounts of capital to companies that
have not yet successfully scaled up commercial production. Investors are
doubling down to maximize the probability that their portfolio companies
can keep up with competition and become winners in their respective markets."
The amount invested in European companies was the highest ever recorded
for a single quarter. European companies (including Israel) received
$742 million in 46 disclosed financing rounds, or 28 percent of the
global total. Sectors in Europe which advanced this quarter include
thin-film solar and wind.
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 approximately 42 percent of cleantech investments,
with a record $1.1 billion in 35 investments. Canadian companies
received $49 million in six investments.
CHINA and INDIA
Chinese companies raised $111 million in venture capital across seven
rounds, accounting for approximately 4 percent of the global total. The
largest single investment was in Feida PV Co., Ltd., which produces
solar cells and modules. Investments in solar companies accounted for
more than half of the investments made in China.
Indian companies raised $6.3 million in venture investments across two
rounds, accounting for approximately 0.2 percent of the total. The only
disclosed deal in India this quarter was raised by Attero Recycling, an
e-waste management and recycling company.
3Q08 Top Five Most Active Cleantech Venture Funds
Venture Capital Firm
RockPort Capital Partners
Deerpath Energy, Eka Systems, Enphase Energy, Hycrete, Northern Power
Systems, Sustainable Spaces
Actacell, AltaRock Energy, Aptera Motors, Makani Power, Potter Drilling,
Advanced Technology Ventures
AltaRock Energy, Nuventix, Rive Technology, Wakonda Technologies
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
AltaRock Energy, Ausra, Fisker Automotive, Flodesign Wind Turbine Corp.
AltaRock Energy, Ausra, NanoH2O, Neersorb
Source: Cleantech Group (cleantech.com)
M&As and IPOs
Cleantech M&A totaled an estimated 138 transactions in 3Q08, of which
totals were disclosed for 56 transactions totaling $17.6 billion. This
is an all-time high in cleantech M&A, and is a significant increase from
the 43 transactions in 2Q08, of which 23 were disclosed, totaling $4.2
billion. In 3Q08, five transactions hit the $1 billion level, including
Iberdrola's acquisition of Energy East, estimated at $4.6 billion, and
International Power Plc's acquisition of Trinergy Ltd for $2.5 billion.
However, cleantech IPOs decreased to four IPOs, worth $587.1 million,
down from six IPOs worth $4.4 billion in the previous quarter. The
largest IPO was GT Solar, Inc. on Nasdaq which raised $500 million. The
NASDAQ saw two cleantech IPOs, while the Toronto Stock Exchange and AIM
each had one.
Key takeaways reviewed in webinar next week
The Cleantech Group will review key findings of its 3Q08 data in a live
webinar on October 7, 2008 at 11AM EST / 8AM PST, exclusively for
members of the Cleantech Group's Cleantech Network. Network members may
join the live meeting at http://cleantech.acrobat.com/research/ a few
minutes before 8AM PST, and will need their email address and Cleantech
Network password to log in. Members unsure of their passwords can
contact Cleantech Group at +1 810-224-4310 x.7151 or can retrieve their
password at http://cleantech.com/memberpassword.cfm
About the Cleantech Group, LLC
The Cleantech Group pioneered the cleantech investment category in 2002.
Today, it accelerates the development and market adoption of clean
technologies globally through membership in the largest global network
of investors and companies representing more than $3 trillion in assets.
Member investors, growth companies/vendors, enterprises, service
providers, and others receive access to capital, investment deal flow,
market leading research and data, insight, sales leads, human capital,
and promotional opportunities. The Cleantech Group also produces the
premier Cleantech Forum events worldwide.