Corporate Cleantech M&A Grew 153 Percent in 2011 Totaling $41.2 Billion

Cleantech Venture Investment in 2011 Reaches the Highest Level Since 2008

 SAN FRANCISCO – January 5, 2012 – Cleantech Group™, a global research firm focused on cleantech innovation, today released preliminary 2011 results for clean technology venture and corporate investments around the globe, totaling $8.99 billion, a 13 percent increase over 2010. Cleantech mergers & acquisitions reached record highs in 2011 with 391 deals and a dollar volume of $41.2 billion, a robust 153 percent growth over 2010.

“While 2011 has been a difficult year for cleantech and venture capital, our 2011 numbers show surging interest in cleantech from global enterprises,” said Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group.  “Despite some of the well-publicized headwinds, venture capitalists continue to invest in cleantech. Based on our historical data, we believe 2012 will be an all-time record year for global cleantech investments.”

Throughout 2011, investment totals grew while the number of deals declined by 7 percent compared to 2010, an indication that average round size is increasing. Of the 713 deals, 61 percent (438) were Series B or later rounds, accounting for 85 percent ($7.64 billion) of all money invested during the year.

Investments in North America grew significantly from $5.20 billion in 2010 to $6.81 billion in 2011, or a 30 percent increase. On the other hand, Europe and Israel took a step back, with $1.30 billion invested in 2011 compared to $1.84 billion in 2010.

In the public markets, China remained strong for cleantech IPOs. 28 of the 51 IPOs in 2011 came out of China, led by several massive offerings by large renewable energy corporations such as Sinohydro, Sinovel Wind Group and Huaneng Renewable Energy.

Cleantech Group’s Quarterly Investment Monitor Report is supported by Deloitte, Silicon Valley Bank and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Detailed information on recent venture activity and transactions is available in real-time in i3, Cleantech Group’s market intelligence platform, at Final numbers will be released to clients in the Quarterly Investment Monitor Report on February 16th, 2012.


Solar was the leading sector by amount invested ($1.81 billion), followed by energy efficiency ($1.46 billion) and transportation ($1.12 billion). Energy efficiency was the most popular sector measured by number of deals, with 150 funding rounds, ahead of solar (111 deals) and transportation (61 deals). The largest transactions in each of the top four sectors were:

SOLAR – $1.81 billion in 111 deals

ENERGY EFFICIENCY – $1.46 billion in 150 deals

TRANSPORTATION – $1.12 billion in 61 deals

BIOFUELS & BIOMATERIALS – $1.04 billion in 52 deals


North America accounted for 76 percent of the total amount invested, Europe & Israel for 14 percent and Asia Pacific for 10 percent in 2011.

NORTH AMERICA: North American companies raised $6.81 billion, up 31 percent from 2010. The total of 470 deals disclosed represents a 25 percent increase from 425 in 2010.

In North America, California led the way with $3.69 billion in investments (54 percent share), followed by Massachusetts ($542 million, 8 percent) and Colorado (358 million, 5 percent). The largest deals included Fisker Automotive (three rounds at $315 million), BrightSource Energy ($201 million) and Sundrop Fuels ($175 million).

EUROPE & ISRAEL: European and Israeli companies raised $1.30 billion, down 30 percent from 2010 ($1.84 billion). There were 172 deals, also down 33 percent, from 256 in 2010. The largest deals were for Better Place ($200 million), Plastic Logic ($200 million) and Nexeon ($88 million).

ASIA PACIFIC: Asian companies raised $879 million in 71 disclosed rounds in 2011. China ranked second after the United States in amount raised ($534 million), and third after the United Kingdom (59) of deals (43). The largest deals were for Soham Renewable Energy ($60 million), Champion of the Earth ($51.6 million) and ShineOn ($51.5 million).


There were 51 clean technology IPOs during the year totaling $9.59 billion, down from the $16.41 billion in 2010. The largest IPO was for Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned hydropower company, which raised $2.12 billion on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Notable venture-backed IPOs included Solazyme (, Zipcar, KiOR ( and Gevo (

Totals were disclosed for 119 of the 391 cleantech M&A transactions totaling $41.2 billion. The largest deal was DuPont’s $6.3 billion acquisition of Danisco, a leading industrial biotechnology company.


2011 Most Active Cleantech Venture Investors:


# of VC Rounds

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB)


DFJ Global Network


New Enterprise Associates


Chrysalix Global Network


Rockport Capital Partners


Khosla Ventures


Source: Cleantech Group’s i3 Platform (

Nothing herein is intended to be nor should be construed as investment advice. Cleantech Group, LLC does not recommend that any financial product should be bought, sold or held by you, and nothing in this document should be construed as an offer, nor the solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by Cleantech Group, LLC or our sponsors. You should not make any investment decision without consulting a fully qualified financial adviser.

About Cleantech Group, LLC

Cleantech Group’s research, events and advisory services accelerate market adoption, stimulate demand, and remove barriers to cleantech innovation.  A global company with offices in North America and Europe, we help business leaders make strategic decisions involving cleantech innovation through the i3 Platform, the most comprehensive, vetted, up-to-date source for insights into companies, investors, financing and relationships across the clean technology ecosystem.  Cleantech Group also produces the premier Cleantech Forum® and Focus™ events worldwide.  Details are available at

Whitney Bennett Michael
Cleantech Group
T 415 684 1020


Note:  Cleantech M&A numbers used in this release only contain transactions involving “pure-play” cleantech companies. Prior to 1Q11, we had reported M&A numbers containing transactions involving companies that were active in the cleantech sectors, but not necessarily “pure-play” cleantech companies (such as oil & gas companies, utilities, etc.).

Since May 2011 (when Cleantech Group’s i3 database was put in use), we have decided to make our definition for “cleantech M&A” more strict in order to reflect a more accurate picture of the exit activities within the cleantech sectors. Due to this change in definition, there is a significant difference between the numbers mentioned in this press release and the ones in releases prior to 1Q11.