Cleantech: As VC Interest Shrinks, Corporate Investors Swoop In

China Cleantech 032612 013Cleantech venture capital has become more difficult to raise.  Corporate capital is increasingly interested and active.  By Dana Hull, Mercury News.

When the Menlo Park-based venture firm The Westly Group raised a $160 million cleantech fund earlier this spring, one thing stood out.

Pension funds and university endowments, traditionally among the largest investors in cleantech venture funds, were absent. However, so-called “strategic investors” — particularly large, multinational corporations based overseas — were in. Of the 50 investors in the fund, the three largest were corporations: banking giant Citicorp, the German utility E.ON and the SK Group of South Korea.

“Corporate investors understand how large this market is,” Steve Westly, the firm’s founder and managing partner, said in an interview.

Read the full story by Dana Hull, Mercury News, May 26, 2013.