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2Q Cleantech Investments of $1.6 billion Target Resource Efficiency

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Amid a depressed global economic environment, investments in cleantech were estimated to total $1.6 billion in the second quarter 2012, down from $1.9 billion in the first quarter 2012and $2.1 billion in the comparable year-ago period (second quarter 2011). Factors driving down investment include global economic uncertainties as well as political opposition to government subsidies in areas such as solar and wind power and electric vehicle development. A depressed U.S. IPO market is further hampering greentech funding efforts. 

Sapphire Energy $144 million
Fisker $129 million
NanoH2O $60 million
Harvest Power $112 million
Soladigm $55 million
Nanosolar $70 million
Climate Corp. $50 million
Coulomb Technologies $48 million

However, there are areas that continue to see innovation and investment, specifically including initiatives focused on resource management and efficiency, such as water conservation and agriculture developments. As consolidated by Jeff St. John of Greentech Media, Inc., the table to the right summarizes some of the cleantech firms that were able to raise significant venture capital funds during the quarter.

In addition to the above firms, privately held Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. raised $104 million through a Series E financing in July 2012 to continue development of its global biochemical plants. Elevance uses Nobel Prize-winning technology to create specialty chemicals for use in personal care products, detergents, fuels, lubricants, and other applications. The company reports that its chemicals are created from renewable feedstocks, such as palm, soybean, rapeseed, and other plant oils supplied by agribusiness giant Cargill, Inc. among other sources. On July 10, 2012, the company announced the raise of $104 million in Series E financing from Malaysia’s Lacustrine Ltd via Genting Genomics Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Berhad [GEBHY-OTC]) and France’s Total Energy Ventures International. Prior to this financing, Elevance had raised nearly $200 million since 2007. Last year, Elevance sought a $100 million IPO according to S-1 filings, although this has not yet occurred.

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