Bloomberg New Energy Finance

2013 ends with enthusiasm for early-stage deals

Rohan Boyle, 10 Mar 14
VCPE investments in clean energy had topped the billion-dollar mark each quarter since early 2006, but fell to below this level in the third quarter of 2013. However, things now seem to be moving in a more positive direction once again.

The first quarter of 2006 saw venture capital and private equity (VCPE) investment in clean energy cross the magical USD 1 billion mark for the first time since Bloomberg New Energy Finance started tracking investment in 2004. Then, after 34 quarters of USD 1 billion-plus investments, including a record of USD 4.1 billion in the third quarter of 2008, the third quarter of 2013 saw investments dip sharply under that line to just USD 714 million, the lowest level in eight years. Investments stayed under the billion mark in the fourth quarter of 2013, but did manage a 20-percent rally from the previous three months to a figure of USD 855 million.

Sixty-seven deals made up the just-under-a-billion total in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, seven more than there had been in the previous quarter. Rene Savelsberg, chief executive and managing director of Amsterdam-based Chrysalix SET, a venture capital firm that manages investments in early and growth-stage European technology companies, says that he thinks Google Inc.’s USD 3.2 billion acquisition of digital-thermostat maker Nest Labs Inc. in early January this year will help restore some confidence to venture investors. He adds: “I believe that the overall mood has been uplifted by the recent developments on the stock markets.” The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, or NEX, which tracks the movements of 102 clean energy companies, has risen more than 85 percent from its low in July 2012.

This is an abridged version of the article – the full text is available in new energy issue 02/2014

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