Venture investment in clean technologies set to exceed US$1 billion in 2002

Sept. 30, 2002
Investments in 'clean' technology companies - ranging from fuel cells to water purification systems - exceeded $500 million in the first half of 2002.

TORONTO, and ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 30, 2002 -- The first Cleantech Investment Monitor released provides good news for the decimated venture capital industry and for those seeking a cleaner environment.

Investments in "clean" technology companies -- ranging from fuel cells to water purification systems -- exceeded US$500 million in the first half of 2002, more than doubling from Q1 to Q2. A full version of the Monitor can be downloaded at http://www.cleantechventure.com/index.cfm?pageSRC=InvestmentReports

Venture investors in the first half of 2002 funded over 70 companies, each receiving an average of US$7.2 million. Eleven companies received commitments of US$15 million or more. Clean energy related companies received just over 60% of cleantech venture dollars, with energy infrastructure (such as hydrogen storage) accounting for a third of all investment activity in Q1 and energy generation (such as solar cells) for 40% in Q2.

In the few venture areas that are hot, such as nanotechnology, the near- term opportunities seem best suited to cleantech applications, from membranes to catalysts. In the first half of 2002, nanotech and advanced materials accounted for approximately 14% of cleantech venture investments, or just over $80 million. The cleantech products being developed today have significant improvements over the old because they:

-- Are lighter, smarter and stronger;
-- Are cheaper to manufacture and operate;
-- Are less carbon-intensive and more energy efficient;
-- Offer greater service utility per unit of material input; and
-- Enable virtually zero waste and/or emissions.

According to Cleantech chairman and managing editor Nicholas Parker: "Many large corporations are making a concerted push to incorporate cleantech into new product and market development. The involvement of government, big business and consumer advocates is creating new opportunities for nimble start-ups in the cleantech area. For venture investors, this is a win-win proposition: relatively low valuations due to depressed capital markets and exciting cleantech opportunities due to technical advances and changing socio-economic dynamics."

In Canada, where the Cleantech Venture Network will hold its first venture forum in Toronto on November 13-14, investment in Canadian cleantech ventures is expected to exceed C$200 million in 2002. Canadian companies received just over 13% of all capital invested in cleantech companies in North America during the first half of 2002, a significantly higher percentage than that for other industry sectors. In Q1, cleantech companies took approximately 8% of Canadian venture dollars, up from virtually nothing the previous year.

Established in April 2002, the Cleantech Venture Network is a market facilitation service accelerating the next and necessary wave of venture innovation. The Monitor is a quarterly publication of the Network. For additional information, go to http://www.cleantechventure.com/ or contact [email protected], phone (416) 456 9314.

Source: Cleantech Venture Network

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