Well, this is my first time on this blog. I have worked with Bill for 10 years in IBM where he writes one of the most successful internal blogs and I was really excited when he authorized me to participate in this blog. Among emerging trends and opportunities, I am thinking of focusing on Cleantech for a couple reasons. Beyond my personal interest, this is an opportunity that I can discuss in any job interviews I hope to get over the next few months… Whether it is hype or reality, people and companies always show interest and understand at least some aspects of it. VC investments are a good benchmark to measure the potential of emerging technologies.
According to PWCC / Reuters / National Venture Capital Association data, VC investment cuts were notable in 2008 (-8% in volume, -4% in deal volume) - this was the first year since 2003 that total investments slowed. The brightest spot was investment in clean energy technologies which increased 52% to $4.1B. Seven of the 10 largest deals for the year were in this area. By contrast investments in Software companies fell 10% and life sciences startups 15%, even though biotech and medical device startups were the top investment sector for 2008.
Cleantech investment focus is on solar energy and photovoltaic companies which received $1.8B in 2008. Startups that make energy from other sources, including ethanol and nuclear energy were next, getting $561M or 14% of the total. Other major investments benefitted companies that recycle chemicals and battery startups.
A little European pride to finish — Deloitte 2008 Global VC Survey shows that Europe is emerging as a new leader behind the US for Life Sciences and Cleantech — led by Ge