Oct 15, 2019 - Energy & Environment

VC firm Clean Energy Ventures' $110 million fund targets early-stage climate players

The VC firm Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) announced Tuesday the close of a $110 million funding round aimed at backing a wide range of climate-friendly energy startups.

Why it matters: Managing director Daniel Goldman tells Axios that the drop-off in clean energy VC a decade ago hit early-stage investing especially hard.

  • Now, he said, there's a "supply-demand imbalance" thanks to the proliferation of promising young companies.
  • "There’s a lot of growth-stage capital around the market now, but there’s very little early-stage capital," he said in an interview.

The big picture: The Boston-based fund was initially supposed to be $75 million, but investor interest led to the $110 million closing figure, a company representative said.

  • CEV already has 7 companies in its portfolio that Goldman says have already received about 15% of the fund.
  • They include the grid tech company SparkMeter (which also has backing from the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures), and the solar tech firm Leading Edge Crystal Technologies.

What's next: Funding areas of interest "include energy storage, grid connectivity, renewable energy production, clean transportation and the water/energy nexus," the announcement states.

  • Members of the companies strategic advisory board include former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
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