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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Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.