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Cleantech Investment Falls

by Melody M. Bomgardner
April 16, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 16

Venture capitalists announced 185 investments in clean technology in the first quarter, the same as in the year-ago period and up from 176 reported in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Cleantech Group, a market research firm. However, the $1.8 billion invested was down 31% compared with a year ago and down 19% from the previous quarter. The largest investment went to GreatPoint Energy, a Massachusetts-based developer of catalytic gasification technology. The firm raised $420 million in a fourth round of funding. Biofuel and biomaterial firms raised $283 million in 14 deals, which included funding for Joule Unlimited, LanzaTech, and Renmatix. Solar firms raised $249 million in 28 deals. The Cleantech Group says corporate interest in the field has helped provide a return to investors by creating an active market for acquisitions. In contrast, the first quarter saw 14 initial public offerings of cleantech firms, down from 16 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Corporations are gaining steam as venture capitalists. BASF Venture Capital made the Cleantech Group’s list of most active venture capital firms for the quarter, thanks to its participation in funding rounds for Renmatix, Solidia Technologies, Allylix, and FRX Polymers.


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