Oct 15, 2019

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

Ben Geman, author of Generate

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.

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updates: George Floyd protests enter 12th day

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.