Boston VC fund will invest $110m in start-ups tackling the climate crisis

17 Oct 2019327 Views

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The Clean Energy Ventures fund was initially supposed to be worth $75m, but significant investor interest resulted in a fund of $110m.

On Tuesday (15 October), Boston-based Clean Energy Ventures closed a fund worth $110m, which will be used to invest in early-stage energy start-ups in the US and Canada.

Clean Energy Ventures is comprised of seasoned executives with a strong interest in the energy and environmental sectors. The group is seeking early-stage start-ups that have the potential to tackle elements of the climate crisis and achieve financial returns.

Led by Daniel Goldman, Temple Fennell and David Miller, the VC fund is a spin-out of the Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG), and has been investing alongside partners from CEVG as well as other venture capital firms and strategic investors across energy and related industries.

Goldman, Fennell and Miller have 40 years of combined investing experience at the seed and early stages. Between them, they have invested in more than 30 early-stage advanced energy companies over the years.

According to Axios, the fund was initially only supposed to be $75m, but significant investor interest brought the final figure to $110m.

“After more than a decade of investing in the advanced energy sector, it’s been gratifying that this first fund, which is focused on investments that address climate risks, was significantly oversubscribed,” Goldman said.

“It’s really indicative not only of investors’ appetite for innovation in these sectors, but also of the new normal in which this kind of funding is possible without compromising return on investment.”

Investments made to date

Clean Energy Ventures has made a number of investments across areas including smart grid sensors, software, and residential and industrial energy efficiency projects.

According to Crunchbase, the group led EnergySage’s Series A funding round in May 2015, which was worth $1.5m. EnergySage is an online marketplace for products relating to solar energy.

Clean Energy Ventures also led Pika’s $2.25m funding round in 2016, before the solar power electronics business was acquired by Generac Power Systems.

“We’ll continue to focus on early-stage advanced energy entrepreneurs with disruptive hardware and materials technology solutions and capital-light business models that have the potential to massively scale,” Goldman added.

“That thesis continues to generate extraordinary interest for co-investment and acquisition by an increasingly broad array of energy and industrial sector incumbents seeking new business opportunities and low-carbon solutions to their operations.

“Our intention is to take significant steps towards realising our ultimate goal of growing companies to scale and having a material impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com