Moving the needle – The Cleantech Group sees water rising

Guest Post by Laura Shenkar, Founder and Principal, Artemis Water Strategy

Water and Waste Water Stage of Investment 2012-- Cleantech Group

Early-stage investment dollars are like yeast for a start-up.  There hasn’t been much of that kind of yeast in water tech, but some industry experts see momentum building for the future.  Early-stage investment is drying up throughout the cleantech sector. (See the graph above.)

However, there is a bit of sunshine bursting through these cloudy financial skies.  Worldwide venture investment in water is rising, and rising in contrast to other green technologies.  While overall investment in cleantech sectors went down by 30% last year, water tech investment went up by 34%. Water was US$355 M of the US$6.8 B in cleantech investment in 2012, with 68 deals worldwide out of the 806 . The Cleantech Group identified water as one of the three most promising areas for cleantech investment during 2012. Cleantech Group CEO Sheeraz Haji sees water as one of the sectors set to grow dramatically in 2013.

Artemis is seeing this drought of  early-stage investment hitting the most promising water tech companies hard.  Private equity firms, corporate investors and  small family funds are emerging as a decisive force.  News about each new investment builds the view of the potential for the emerging water tech start-up community.