Source: Climate Change News, January 13, 2012.
Despite a decrease in the actual number of clean technology investment deals in 2011 and other challenges facing the venture capital, the overall dollar investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, and other cleantech categories was up 13% in 2011 to $8.99 B, according to recent data released by Cleantech Group. Solar power was the leading sector by dollar volume invested at $1.81 B, followed by energy efficiency ($1.46 B) and transportation ($1.12 B). The number of cleantech initial public offerings in 2011 totaled 51, raising $9.59 B, which was down from $16.41 B raised in 2010. The number of merger and acquisition deals in cleantech, however, rose dramatically from $16 B in value during 2010 to $41 B in 2011, with strategic industrial buyers, such as ABB, Siemens, and Osram, leading the way.
A seven percent decline in the number of deals in 2011 to 731 transactions indicates that the average round size is increasing, said Cleantech Group CEO Sheeraz Haji. Of the 713 deals, 61% (438) were Series B or later rounds, accounting for 85% ($7.64 B) of all money invested during the year. Investments in North America grew significantly from $5.20 B in 2010 to $6.81 B in 2011—an increase of 30%—while Europe and Israel took a step back, with $1.30 B invested in 2011 compared to $1.84 B in 2010.
“While 2011 has been a difficult year for cleantech and venture capital, our 2011 numbers show surging interest in cleantech from global enterprises,” said Haji. “Despite some of the well-publicized headwinds, venture capitalists continue to invest in cleantech. Based on our historical data, we believe 2012 will be an all-time record year for global cleantech investments.”