VC funding has proved a poor fit for the high risks, modest returns and long holding periods associated with cleantech investing. After a boom in the 2000s, venture capital funding for cleantech dropped 30 percent between 2011 and 2016. Last year only 7.6% of VC deals went into clean technologies.
A report from the Climate Solutions Collaborative, a partnership between Confluence Philanthropy and CREO Syndicate, profiles the new crop of innovative investors stepping up to fill the gap.
Spring Lane Capital accelerates the rollout of distributed-scale sustainable technologies with third-party ownership structures for smaller-scale systems across energy, water, food, and waste markets and investments in the vendors and developers who are actually deploying these systems.
Congruent Ventures has set up an early-stage cleantech fund with a co-investment mechanism that allows its limited partners to take advantage of later stage follow-on opportunities in successful companies.
To bridge the “commercialization valley of death,” MNL Partners, a family office-backed holding company, creates joint ventures between technology developers in the U.S. and commercial partners in China, where many technologies are first deployed.
PRIME Coalition mobilizes program-related investments and recoverable grants from foundations and wealthy families to back the testing of idea-phase climate solutions.