Recent Posts:

Debunking some of the myths around cleantech venture capital

Rob Day: June 30, 2008, 7:24 AM
The myths being thrown around about cleantech venture capital perhaps reached a new height of silliness this weekend, with a NYT article which suggested that cleantech venture capital is responsible for the lack of VC-backed IPOs in the last quarter (also mentioned in this Earth2Tech post). They reported that some VCs said that"the pipeline for public offerings has dried up in part because of the considerable shift in the industry’s interest in the last three years into 'green' technologies, which was taking time to bear fruit." That's just plain silly. It does, however, provide a nice opportunity to discuss a few of the myths (and half-truths) surrounding cleantech venture...

A big fat zero

Rob Day: June 26, 2008, 3:51 PM
That's the answer to the question:  "How many venture-backed IPOs are there going to be in the second quarter." That's a stat about all industries and sectors, not just cleantech. But it definitely does affect cleantech nonetheless.  As we've talked about on this site for some time now, 2008 was supposed to be the year of big exits in cleantech, particularly in solar but also in other hot sectors.  But with only 5 VC-backed IPOs across all sectors in the first half of the year, it's not looking like all of the backlogged IPO candidates are going to make it out the window whenever it finally re-opens.  There are a number of companies that have been burning through a significant...

The auto industry needs to engage the VC and innovator community

Rob Day: June 19, 2008, 2:09 PM
Had the pleasure of attending Ernst & Young's Cleantech Ignition Session earlier this week in NYC. An invite-only group of about 30-40 transportation industry participants, including representatives from government and inside the beltway, from transportation OEMs and suppliers, and from the investment community. The topic: "Leveraging cleantech to build a sustainable advantage in transportation." E&Y will be writing up a report on the session for later release, and until then, what was said in the room stays in the room. But there were a number of very good thoughts in the wide-ranging, open discussion, and some compelling ideas. I'll highlight one in particular, just because...

“How do I break into cleantech?”

Rob Day: June 14, 2008, 3:38 AM
As the sector heats up, far more people than I can possibly help are approaching me with this consistent question. And while it's a bit frustrating not to be able to help out as much as I would like, it's certainly encouraging for the sector to see so much smart business talent seeking to get involved. Almost 3 years ago now I wrote up a post on breaking into the sector, and most of it still applies well. One major difference is that there are a lot more opportunities to get involved, given the sheer number of additional business efforts underway now. So take heart, job seekers! But also take to heart that the single most important thing to remember is that it's probably best...

A new record?

Rob Day: June 7, 2008, 3:33 PM
What's the largest single LP commitment to any single private equity fund in history? I have no data on the subject, but it would seem to me that if CalPERS does indeed make a $640mm commitment to Vinod's fund, that might set the new record.  Curious. And as another previously early-stage focused investor raises another huge fund, it really shows how these funds are looking to shift their strategies a bit. Especially coming after RockPort's announcement this week, it's even clearer that many cleantech venture firms are going to be putting more emphasis on putting more money into their deals.  And thus, that there has to be some kind of continued shift into later-stage...

RockPort’s $453mm 3rd fund, and cleantech is not biotech

Rob Day: June 5, 2008, 2:37 AM
Jonathan Shieber has a very good column in this morning's VentureWire, reporting on RockPort's big announcement about the close of their third fund, at $453mm. The column uses RockPort's fund, as well as Element's $400mm ongoing fundraising, and NGEN's $500mm targeted fundraising, to describe how the cleantech venture market is "maturing." A few initial reactions, this morning, to some of the points in the coverage of this news: First of all, big congrats to RockPort -- and for everyone else, this kind of fundraising momentum continues to show that LPs now consider cleantech a legitimate investment sector. As Dave Prend of RockPort is quoted as saying, in the above-linked...

Big news with REBN

Rob Day: June 3, 2008, 3:02 AM
As some readers will know from earlier posts, and perhaps as participants at past events, I help organize the Renewable Energy Business Network, or REBN. Last night more than 400 clean energy professionals came out to an event we organized at the Cleantech 2008 conference, and co-hosted with the New England Clean Energy Council, the U.S. DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, and the American Council on Renewable Energy. A great indication of the level of interest in this industry right now, and of the desire those in the market have for being able to connect with each other. We used the event to announce some major changes for REBN, which has now been...