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Clean Energy Ventures' $305M Triumph Amid Pandemic

Clean Energy Ventures to persist in early-stage climate tech startups while incorporating "pre-growth" investments
May 30, 2024

Amidst the exuberance that swept through the startup ecosystem in recent years, climate tech found itself swept up in the fervor. Yet, while many rushed to raise funds amidst the low interest rates and eager investors, Clean Energy Ventures chose a path less traveled—and it's proving to be a wise decision.

Dan Goldman, co-founder and managing partner at Clean Energy Ventures, reflected on their cautious approach, especially when faced with the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than succumb to the allure of easy capital, the firm maintained discipline, recognizing the signs of a potential bubble.

As the initial fund's dry powder dwindled, Clean Energy Ventures saw an opportunity to leverage investor interest and raise a second fund. Surpassing their initial target of $200 million within six months, the firm ultimately secured a total of $305 million, a significant increase from their previous fund.

The focus remains on early-stage climate tech startups, with an added emphasis on "pre-growth" investments—larger checks for companies that have de-risked their technology and are poised for market adoption. Recognizing the challenges faced by hardware-heavy startups, Clean Energy Ventures plans to allocate a substantial portion of the new fund for follow-on investments and explore various financial instruments to support portfolio companies.

Notably, the new fund has attracted attention from a diverse set of institutional investors, including Builder’s Vision, Carbon Equity, and the Grantham Foundation, as well as industry LPs from around the globe. Their commitment underscores a shared vision to drive innovation and address greenhouse gas emissions—a testament to Clean Energy Ventures' focused approach in advancing climate solutions.

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