Global clean technology venture-capital (VC) investments totaled $2.23 billion across 189 deals in the third quarter, representing 12% growth compared to the previous quarter ($1.98 billion) and a 23% increase over the third quarter of 2010 ($1.81 billion), according to the preliminary third-quarter 2011 results released by research firm Cleantech Group.
The number of deals recorded in the third quarter was 189, compared to 179 in the second quarter.
For the first time, energy storage was the leading sector by amount invested ($514 million), followed by solar ($350 million) and energy efficiency ($223 million). Energy efficiency was the most popular sector measured by number of deals, with 34 funding rounds, ahead of solar (33 deals) and energy storage (19 deals).
North America accounted for 76% of the total amount invested, while the Asia Pacific region accounting for 14%, and Europe and Israel for 10%. North American companies raised $1.69 billion, up 17% from the second quarter and up 59% from the same period a year ago. The total of 128 deals disclosed marked a record high for cleantech VC rounds in the region.
Asian companies raised $303 million in 21 disclosed rounds. India ranked third after the U.S. and the U.K. in amount raised, while China ranked third in number of deals globally. European and Israeli companies raised $230 million, down 34% from the second quarter and down 32% from the same period a year ago. There were 40 deals, down from 44 in the previous quarter.
Both the initial public offering (IPO) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) markets were a bit slower in the third quarter compared to the first half of the year. China remained the top country for cleantech IPOs: Eleven of the 14 IPOs in the quarter came out of China, with four Chinese solar cell/panel manufacturers raising a total of $812 million. M&A activity remained strong and significantly higher than last year.
‘While financing remains constrained, it's great to see growth in venture activity,’ says Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group. ‘Energy storage emerged as our top sector, indicating continued strong interest in advanced technologies for grid storage as well as for electric vehicles."