There was a period of time in the not-so-distant past when cleantech appeared to be the next great frontier for technological advancement. From 2010 through 2012, investment numbers for the industry were strong and consistent, with an average of $4.58 billion disbursed each year through VC-backed investments, reaching highs for deal count (355) and capital invested ($4.69B) in 2011.
Since the beginning of 2010, 1,139 different VC investors have participated in at least one deal backing a cleantech company, according to the PitchBook Platform. But as projects failed and others saw slower-than-expected growth, VC activity in the vertical has decreased from its 2011 highs to a much more tepid pace. Capital invested has hovered around $2.25 billion for the past three years, and deal count slipped to just 234 in 2015. Although those are sizeable numbers, they are a long way off from what previous years garnered, representing waning investor interest in the space. It looks as if investment will continue its fall this year, as only 31 deals have been completed to date, representing $372 million of invested capital.
Here are the 11 most active VC investors in cleantech startups since 2010, along with their investment counts:
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