MATT NAUMAN, San Jose Mercury News, October 1, 2008
Venture capital investors continue to look beyond the current financial crisis and see clean technology innovations as a prime place for their money. The segment posted another record period in the third quarter of 2008, with a total of $2.6 billion worth of investments globally.
In fact, a report to be released today by the Cleantech Group reveals that investments in companies working in solar, the smart electrical grid, algae for fuel and other categories so far this year already have topped all of what was invested in 2007. That’s $6.6 billion in the first nine months of 2008 compared with $6 billion in all of 2007.
Nearly $419 million in the third quarter (and more than $1 billion so far in 2008) went to companies based in Silicon Valley, the research and financial services company said.
“Clean-tech venture investing has continued to show strong growth despite the unprecedented turmoil in the credit markets,” Michael Goguen, managing partner of Sequoia Capital, said in a statement. Goguen is a member of the Cleantech Group advisory board.
Of the $2.6 billion invested in 158 companies during the quarter, $1.1 billion of it went to California companies. Of the top investors ranked by number of deals, local entities Google.org, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, ranked in the top five.
The third quarter’s biggest deal of $200 million was invested in Solopower, a thin-film photovoltaic solar company in San Jose. The group expects fourth-quarter investments to fall, due to the various economic headwinds, but didn’t offer a specific forecast.