The Guardian published their take on the Global Cleantech 100 companies today in association with Cleantech.
13 UK companies made it onto the list:
- ACAL Energy
- Arvia Technology
- Marine Current Turbines
- Pelamis Wave Power
- ResponsiveLoad (RLTech)
Congratulations to all, this is a wide ranging and well researched list.
However, this is a worry for the venture capital industry given the huge amount of funding committed to the sector over the past five years. With few exceptions, (and the odd business that has rebadged itself as ‘cleantech’), this same list could have been written two or even four years ago.
We have always said that there is a fundamental issue with venture investment in the space as VC investors typically want to exit a business within 5 years. The energy industry itself has much longer adoption cycles so it is not surprising that much of the ‘cleantech’ funds are focused on investing in companies like Nujira who, whilst being a fantastic business, is hardly going to make a dent in the world’s CO2 emissions. It is adopted by customers because it saves the money and is a more effective solution to an existing problem.
The planet should worry if it is relying on investors in taking risks to sort out these problems.
Investors are only in Cleantehc for hte money. They all invest without any thought for the future of hte planet. They just want to get there managmenet fees and dont care too much if they will even get carry on the fund. Most of them are so amamteur that they will not get carry anyway.
Of course investors want money but I would absolutely disagree with your point.
My point is more about the speed that it takes to grow a game-changing business in the cleantech space and whether that is compatitible with the aims of the venture capital industry as a whole.
There are lots of opportunities for investors to make money in clean/green investing, particularly when the amount of available capital makes every CEO start thinking about their green angle.
To create organisations that actually have an impact on a global basis however takes a significant amount of capital commitment to much longer term projects.