From Green Right Now Reports
U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech companies increased by 54 percent to $1.14 billion in Q1 2011 from $743.3 million in Q1 2010, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.
The analysis shows that solar continues to be the hottest sector and that California is leading the way in the cleantech race. California accounted for 56% of the total dollars funded with $637.2 million, up 41% year on year.
The 2011 increase occurred despite a 13 percent decrease in deals year on year from 79 to 69. The top 10 deals in Q1 2011 totaled $683.1 million, 60 percent of the total raised for the quarter. Two deals accounted for 18 percent of the total dollars raised.
The energy/electricity generation segment, led by strong solar investments, raised $450.3 million through 16 deals in Q1 2011. The solar sub-segment accounted for 39 perecnt of the total dollars raised for the quarter with $362.7 million, a 162 percent gain from Q1 2010.
MiaSole, a Northern California manufacturer of thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, was the largest deal of the quarter. The company raised $106 million in a later-stage round of financing, 24 percent of total dollars in Q1 2011. Alta Devices, a Northern California company that focuses on improving the production economics of high efficiency solar PV applications, had the fourth largest deal of the quarter with $72 million third round financing.
Large investments also bolstered the energy storage segment to be the second largest in terms of dollars in Q1 2011. The segment is up 671 percent year on year after raising $262.4 million through 14 deals. Battery companies drew in $121 million of this investment compared to $8 million in Q1 2010, a 1,405 percent increase, while fuel cell companies attracted $106 million in Q1 2011, a 308 percent increase year over year.
Two deals accounted for 64 percent of the dollars raised in the energy storage segment overall, including Bloom Energy, a California provider of fuel cell-based power generators, which raised $100 million.
In Q1 2011, the industry focused products and services segment ranked third with respect to total amount raised. It attracted $161.86 million, a 27 percent decrease from the $221 million raised in Q1 10. The largest deal in this segment was completed by Myriant Technologies, a Massachusetts developer of biocatalyst technologies for conversion of renewable feedstocks that raised $60 million.
The alternative fuels segment, led by biofuel companies, raised $160 million, 14 percent of the total dollars raised in Q1 2011. Finally, the energy efficiency sector raised $95 million in Q1 2011, down 49 percent from the $187 million raised in Q1 2010.
Northern California attracted 79 percent of dollars raised throughout California. This quarter was also strong for investment in the Southeast and the New England regions. Companies in the Southeast garnered $150.2 million, a 6,159 percent from Q1 2010, and New England area companies attracted $174.23 million, a 193 percent increase compared to Q1 2010.