Record VC Cleantech Investment in 2008

“As expected, clean technology venture investing slowed in 4Q08, but it is important not to miss the forest for the trees” said Nicholas Parker, Executive Chairman of the Cleantech Group, adding, “In 2008, there was a quantum leap in talent, resources and institutional appetite for clean technologies. Now, more than ever, clean technologies represent the biggest opportunities for job and wealth creation.”

This quote was highlighted in an article by John Walko of The EE Times Europe – a global news wire for creators of technology – http://eetimes.eu/industrial/212700820) – which takes a factual look at cleantech venture investments in 2008. The figures were highlighted by the San Francisco based Cleantech Group (http://cleantech.com/), which tracks the sector and enables us to get an idea of where things might be going.  The study has been widely reported yesterday and today, but we thought it worth summarizing here.

The facts:

          North America, Europe, China and India saw a record $8.4 billion investment, up 38% from 2007 ($6.1billion).

          This represents the seventh consecutive year of growth in clean technology.

          Preliminary results suggest Q408 investment was $1.7 billion across 99 investments, down 35% from 3Q08, but only 4% off Q40.

          Solar accounted for 40% ($3.3 billion) of investment, Biofuels for 11% ($904 million) and Transportation (electric cars, fuel cells & advanced batteries) for 9.5% ($795 million).

          The three largest rounds, with a combined value of $719 million, were for US thin-film solar ventures, but the fourth was wind turbines – Finnish group WinWinD raised $177 million.

          US companies raised $5.8 billion in 2008, up a whopping 56% from 2007 – and accounting for 68% of the global total.

          European and Israeli companies raised $1.8 billion in 146 rounds (+43% from ’07) – 21% of global total.

          Germany overtook the UK as the country receiving the most venture capital in Europe (helped by one hefty deal), and Israel moved to third place from sixth. (Hot competition!)

          Chinese cleantech companies raised $430 million in 2008, up 22% from 2007, which represented 5% of the global total.

So a good year even with a drag in Q4!

It is worth noting as well that Cleantech Group’s Cleantech Forum XXI will be held in San Francisco Feb 23-25, 2009.  For more information on this premier investor conference: http://cleantech.com/cleantechforum/sanfrancisco09/

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