Cleantech VC Investment Jumps To $1.1 Billion In Q3


U.S. venture-capital (VC) investment in cleantech companies increased by 73% to $1.1 billion in the third quarter of this year (Q3'11) compared to the third quarter of last year (Q3'10), according to a new Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

The report also found that the total number of deals increased by 36% to 76. On a consecutive quarter basis, dollars invested in Q3'11 are 4% above the amount in Q2'11.

‘Confidence in cleantech investing continues despite the challenging investment market,’ says Jay Spencer, Ernst & Young LLP's Americas cleantech director. ‘We saw significant commitments in energy storage, which reflects a growing corporate focus on proactively managing their energy mix.’

The energy-storage segment led cleantech investment during Q3, raising $421 million -representing a 1,932% increase over the same period last year. This segment has raised a total of $865.2 million throughout 2011.

Cleantech companies in the revenue-generation stage of development led both deals and investments in Q3, with 49 deals and VC investment of $921.0 million – a 203% increase from Q3'10, according to the report. The share of revenue-generation-stage companies accounted for 78% of the dollars invested – versus Q3'10, when this share accounted for 44% of the total dollars invested.

California continues to lead national cleantech investment this year, with $1.7382 billion raised to date. In Q3 alone, California garnered 52% of all dollars, with $583 million – a 74% increase from Q3'10. Massachusetts raised the second-highest level of investments, with $170.4 million – a 65% increase over the same period last year.

Both Pennsylvania and Oregon saw investments more than triple since Q3'10, bringing their Q3'11 investment levels to $85.4 million and $73.5 million, respectively, Ernst & Young says.

‘The renewable energy capacity additions and corporate commitments demonstrate that cleantech has reached its deployment phase,’ Spencer notes.

The U.S. recorded 44 new-build clean energy asset financings with a disclosed value of $6.8 billion.

Although there were no cleantech initial public offerings (IPOs) conducted this quarter, companies are continuing to enter the IPO pipeline. During Q3, there were 11 cleantech mergers and acquisitions, with a disclosed value of $222.0 million, according to IHS Herold data cited in the report.

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