i3 Quarterly Investment Monitor Reports $1.4 Billion in Cleantech Venture Investment during Q3 2013

Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Biofuels & Biochemicals lead investment deals according to Cleantech Group’s third quarter report

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–October 11, 2013 – Cleantech Group™, provider of the i3 market intelligence platform and global consulting services, today announced worldwide venture investment across all clean technology sectors totaled $1.4 billion during Q3 2013. That total was 26 percent lower than the previous quarter ($1.9 billion) and 13 percent below the average of $1.6 billion over the previous four quarters. The report was based on preliminary findings from i3, which tracks more than $7 billion of deal flow across 22,000 cleantech companies and 18 sectors annually.

Total deal volume reached 195 across all sectors, on par with the “sweet-spot” in recent years of 200 deals per quarter, though 24 percent lower than the 258 deals recorded during Q2 2013. This figure is expected to increase slightly once all investors have submitted deals. Of the 195 deals recorded so far, 56 percent were Series B or later rounds, accounting for $1.18 billion or 84 percent of all money invested during the quarter.

“Efficiency continues to shine in 2013, leading the cleantech sector in terms of number of deals completed. Transportation saw considerable traction in Q3 2013, thanks in large part to Uber’s $258 million funding round led by Google Ventures and TPG Capital,” said Sheeraz Haji, Chief Executive Officer of Cleantech Group. “Our i3 market intelligence platform reports that investor interest in software or cleanweb technologies is starting to scale, while the Agriculture and Advanced Materials sectors are making strong headway and are well-positioned to gain significant market traction in the years to come.”


The leading sector in 3Q13 by amount invested was Transportation with $352 million (up 157 percent from Q2), followed by Energy Efficiency with $205 million (down 53 percent), and Biofuels & Biochemicals with $173 million (down 38 percent). Energy Efficiency continued to lead in terms of deal volume, closing 33 funding rounds, though that total was 35 percent lower than the 51 deals the sector recorded in Q2. Transportation, with 22 deals (down 21 percent) was ranked second, followed by Solar with 21 deals (up 5 percent from Q2). Other top sectors in terms of deal volume and value invested included Advanced Materials with 17 deals accounting for $92 million, Agriculture with $89 million across 13 deals, water with $37 million across 15 deals, Energy Storage with $55 million across nine deals and Smart Grid with $50 million across nine deals.

The largest transactions during the second quarter were:

  • Uber, a California-based operator of a mobile-based taxi/town car booking and payment service, raised $258 million from Google Ventures, TPG Capital and Benchmark Capital.
  • Kaiima, an Israel-based developer of genomic-based breeding technology to develop high-yielding energy crops for bio-diesel, bio-ethanol, and biomass energy, raised $65 million from new investors Horizon Ventures, International Finance Corporation and Infinity Group, as well as existing investors.
  • Joule, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of diesel and ethanol directly derived from sunlight and CO2 using micro-organisms, raised $50 million from Flagship Ventures.
  • Crocus Technology, a France-based developer of technology that reduces power consumption in microcontrollers and non-volatile memory blocks, raised €34 million ($44 million) from Idinvest Partners, Soffinova Ventures, NanoDimension, Ventech, Innovation Capital and Industrial Investors. 

In Europe and Israel, deals in Energy Efficiency ($74 million) and Agriculture ($68 million) ranked the highest in terms of dollars invested, in large part due to capital raised by Crocus Technology and Kaiima. The Energy Efficiency sector also led by deal count in this region with five deals. Wind, Advanced Materials, Solar, and Water sectors each saw four deals.

In the Asia/Pacific region, the Transportation sector came out on top in deal activity with four deals worth $9 million, while companies innovating in technology areas affecting Air Quality raised $23 million across three deals. China led the region in number of deals with ten, India followed with five, and Australia and Singapore each had one.

In North America, Uber’s large growth round sent the Transportation sector to the top of the heap in terms of dollars invested, with $325 million across 14 deals. The Energy Efficiency sector led by deal volume with 25 deals worth $122 million, while Solar ($154 million across 17 deals), Biofuels & Biochemicals ($146 million across 14 deals), and Advanced Materials ($65 million across 12 deals) rounded out the list of most active sectors.

M&A transactions in clean technology sectors totaled 56 transactions in 3Q13, of which totals were disclosed for 24 transactions totaling $4.7 billion. In 26 of the 56 transactions, the targets were VCPE-backed companies.

Notable venture exits were realized in the Advanced Materials, Energy Efficiency, and Waste Management sectors through the following M&A transactions:

  • Advanced Materials: Volterra Semiconductor Corporation, a California-based developer of integrated circuits for power management, was acquired by Maxim Integrated Products for $605 million. The company was backed by investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital, Dali Hook Capital Partners, and Integral Capital Partners.
  • Energy Efficiency:
    • NovaLED, a Germany-based developer of high-efficiency organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), was acquired by Samsung for $350 million. The company was backed by TechnoStart, TechFund Europe, Samsung Ventures, Omnes Capital, and others.
    • iWatt, a provider of digital technology for power system regulation in electronics, was acquired by Dialog Semiconductor for $345 million. The company was backed by VantagePoint Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Horizon Ventures, and others.
  • Waste Management: ecoATM, a California-based provider of electronics recycling kiosks, was acquired by Outerwall (operator of the Coinstar brand of money-changing kiosks) for $350 million. The company was backed by Claremont Creek Ventures, Tao Venture Capital, and Outerwall.

Significant venture exits were also realized through IPOs in the Energy Efficiency, Agriculture, Biofuels & Biochemicals, and Water sectors:

  • Energy Efficiency: Control4, a Utah-based developer of home automation products and software solutions, raised $64 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ. The company was backed by Foundation Capital, GSV Capital, Cisco Systems, Signal Peak Ventures, and others.
  • Agriculture: Marrone Bio Innovations, a California-based developer of natural weed, pest, and plant disease management products, raised $57 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ. The company was backed by Wavepoint Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Mitsui, and others.
  • Biofuels & Biochemicals: Intrexon, a California-based developer of synthetic biology technology solutions for industries including energy, food, water and medicine, raised $160 million in its IPO on the NYSE. The company was backed by Third Security, NewVa Capital Partners, and others.
  • Water: Orege, a France-based provider of industrial wastewater treatment for the oil & gas and chemicals industries, raised $26 million in its IPO on the Euronext Paris. The company was backed by Climate Change Capital, and Oraxys.

About Cleantech Group Inc.

Cleantech Group helps clients accelerate sustainable innovation. The company’s i3 market intelligence platform, which tracks over $7 billion of deal flow across 22,000 cleantech companies annually, allows subscribers to discover companies and explore resource technology trends strategically with proprietary real-time data. Cleantech Forums bring together thought leaders and innovators in the cleantech and sustainability ecosystem. The company’s Advisory Services leverage expertise in designing and executing corporate strategies for sustainable growth and innovation sourcing. Details at www.cleantech.com