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Venture Capital Bets Big On Texas As World Capital Of Clean Energy Tech

Venture capital fund manager Energy Transition Ventures said on Tuesday it had launched the first venture fund in Texas that will exclusively invest in energy transition technologies.

The fund is founded in the world’s energy capital Houston by cleantech start-up executives and venture capitalists Craig Lawrence and Neal Dikeman, with anchor investment from two operating companies from the GS Group of South Korea. Energy Transition Ventures will be investing in early-stage start-ups in North America.

“Texas is the energy capital of the world, and outside of corporate venture capital, there are not many venture funds in the state,” Craig Lawrence, co-founder of Energy Transition Ventures, said in a statement. “So it makes sense to start an energy transition focused fund here as the latest wave of clean technology investing accelerates,” Lawrence added.

Energy Transition Ventures closed its first capital in February this year and completed its first investment a month later in March. Now Energy Transition Ventures is expected to close new investors for a total fund size of US$75 million, the fund manager said.

Before Energy Transition Ventures, the founders Lawrence and Dikeman took part in the launch and management of clean energy investing at Accel Partners, Jane Capital, and Shell Technology Ventures. They have also held various operating roles in solar power companies and smart grid start-ups.

The world’s oil capital Houston and the U.S. wind power leader Texas would be the ideal place to support energy ventures that would profit in the post-oil world, Dikeman told Bloomberg in an interview.

“If you’re going to play tech, you should do it in Silicon Valley,” Dikeman said. “If you’re going to do media, you should do it in New York. If you’re going to do auto, do it in Detroit. If you’re going to play energy, do it in Texas,” the venture capitalist told Bloomberg.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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