Sunday, April 09, 2006

The latest on Kleiner and cleantech

John Doerr, Vinod Khosla and the rest at Kleiner Perkins have been bringing a lot of positive attention to the cleantech investment community lately. The latest is this Associated Press article, which describes the current "greentech" plans at Kleiner, apparently including not just investing but advocacy as well, interestingly. It's a good article that uses Doerr's perspective as a springboard to discuss the broader trend toward more venture investments in cleantech, and some of the reasons for it.

While it's great to see the AP coverage, we continue to be puzzled that people like Mark Heesen of the NVCA seem to think that returns in cleantech have not been strong historically, when in fact available evidence suggests that's just not true, that instead historic returns in cleantech are likely to have been competitive with those in other sectors [self-promotion alert -- one of my firm's GPs co-edited the study]. This comes on the heels of Mark's statements at the Cleantech Venture Forum suggesting that cleantech is also a more heavily-regulated segment than other investment areas...

However, Mark is entirely correct when he's quoted as saying, "There are a lot of obstacles that stand in the way of creating a new way of creating energy." Nevertheless, regular readers of this site will already know -- that's not what most cleantech investing is all about.


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