The clean-tech sector is primed for a record-setting year of investments in 2012, following robust growth in 2011 despite difficult conditions, according to the Cleantech Group.
Global clean technology venture and corporate investments totalled $9 billion in 2011, a 13% increase over 2010, according to the analysis firm’s preliminary 2011 data. This is just shy of 2008’s record of $9.5 billion.
Clean-tech mergers and acquisitions reached record highs in 2011 with 391 deals and a dollar volume of $41.2 billion, up 153% over 2010.
“Despite some of the well-publicised headwinds, venture capitalists continue to invest in clean-tech,” said Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group. “Based on our historical data, we believe 2012 will be an all-time record year for global clean-tech investments.”
North American investments rose 31% from $5.2 billion in 2010 to $6.8 billion in 2011, with California the main recipient with $3.7 billion, a 54% share of the regional total. The 470 deals disclosed represent a 25% increase over the 425 announced in 2010, according to the San Francisco-based firm.
But investments in Europe and Israel took a step back, dropping 30% to $1.3 billion in 2011 compared with $1.8 billion in 2010, according to the data. There were 172 deals in the region, down 33% from the 256 in 2010.
Asian companies raised $879 million in 71 disclosed rounds in 2011, according to the firm, compared with 75 in 2010 valued at a total of $805 million.
North America accounted for 76% of the total amount of dollars invested, Europe and Israel comprised 14% and Asia Pacific had 10% last year.
In the public markets, China remained strong for clean-tech initial public offerings (IPO), claiming 28 of the 51 IPOs in 2011, according to the firm. The 51 clean-tech IPOs raised $9.6 billion, down from the $16.4 billion in 2010. The largest IPO was for Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned hydropower company, which raised $2.12 billion on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The solar sector received the most clean-tech dollars at $1.8 billion, followed by energy efficiency with $1.5 billion and transportation at $1.1 billion.
Energy efficiency was the most popular sector measured by number of deals, with 150 funding rounds, ahead of the solar sector’s 111 deals and transportation’s 61 deals.
The largest transaction in the solar sector was the $201 million raised by BrightSource Energy, a California-based developer of utility-scale concentrating solar power technology, from VantagePoint Capital Partners, Alstom and others, according to Cleantech Group.
The biggest energy efficiency transaction was the $135 million raised by OSIsoft, a California-based provider of real-time data infrastructure solutions, from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Technology Crossover Ventures and others.
The largest transportation deal was conducted by Fisker Automotive, a California-based luxury electric vehicle manufacturer, raising $315 million from Kleiner, New Enterprise Associates and others.
Totals were disclosed for 119 of the 391 clean-tech M&A transactions, with the largest deal being DuPont’s $6.3 billion acquisition of Danisco, a Denmark-based industrial biotechnology company.
California-based venture capital firm Kleiner was the most active clean-tech venture investor, with 35 VC rounds, according to Cleantech Group.
By. Gloria Gonzalez