After a multiyear downturn, cleantech venture capital investments are back on the upswing.

According to year-end numbers from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, venture and private equity investments into the sector grew 127 percent over the previous year in 2018, amounting to $9.2 billion. That is the highest total since 2010.

Years after venture capital in the space plummeted in 2012 — when investors ran from clean technologies after getting burned by bad bets — we’re seeing a new wave of activity. Oil majors, billionaires and a wide range of corporations are getting in on the action. And there are a number of new funds focusing on both software- and hardware-specific startups.

So, how is this spurt of activity different from the last one? For one thing, fewer people are using the term "cleantech."

This week, we're joined by Abe Yokell, managing partner at Congruent Ventures. He and our co-host Shayle Kann, a senior VP of research and strategy at Energy Impact Partners, will talk about the changing landscape for venture capital. 

In this episode, we'll address:

  • What went wrong for VCs in the first cleantech boom? What should we have learned from that wave? Should we still call it "cleantech"? 
  • Are we in a new cleantech VC renaissance? What's the current state of supply/demand for capital for a cleantech startup? How much does it vary by stage?
  • What to make of a few new classes of major entrants: utilities, oil majors, incubators/accelerators, and long-horizon investors?
  • How should the risk of a looming recession impact this market?
  • Where do funds get their capital, and what is the appetite for LPs to deploy capital into the space?

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