New Funds & Fundraising: Energy Efficiency, Resource Efficiency Attracting Investors

GSR Capital Launches $5B Fund to Scale Emerging Tech in China 

Chinese VC firm GSR Capital launched a $5 billion fund focused on cross-border buyouts and M&A of Western companies that are looking to enter the Chinese market. Areas of focus for the fund include clean energy, bio-pharmaceutics and life sciences.

The GSR Global M&A Fund will be managed by GSR GO Scale Capital Advisor Ltd. with $1 billion in backing from its own GSR GO Scale Capital LP unit as well as funding from unnamed institutional investors. The company’s family of funds has more than $2 billion under management.

Last year, GSR Ventures and US-based Oak Investment Partners partnered to launch GO Scale Capital, a $500 million independent fund for investing in clean technology companies that can scale in China.

In April, GSR G-O Scale Capital agreed to acquire a LED lighting business, Lumileds, from Philips for $2.8 billion. GSR and Oak previously invested in LED lighting firm SunSun, according to Reuters.

LEDs and other energy efficiency technologies are in big demand in China, where regulators have focused on encouraging green and energy efficient practices in both new and established buildings. The country is planning to build the equivalent of a hundred cities the size of New York City over the next two decades.

Last week, California-based LED chip company Bridgeluxe was acquired by a Chinese investment group led by state-owned China Electronics Corporation (CEC) and Chongqing Linkong Development Investment Company.

Ygrene Energy’s $150 million PACE Securitization, Insurance Firms 

Ygrene Energy announced a $150 million private securitization transaction with a large insurance partner by issuing Class A notes rated AA by Kroll Bond Rating Agency with a 97% advance rate.  Ygrene provides “property assessed clean energy,” or PACE, financing to property owners for energy-efficient projects with repayments tied to their property tax bills.

It’s the first-ever PACE securitization to include both commercial and residential PACE assets from multiple states. It will fund more than 6,200 energy and water conservation projects, according to the company.

Insurance firms are hungry for securitized assets tied to energy efficiency improvements, a senior Citigroup official told CleanTechIQ recently. Citi works with both Kilowatt Financial and Renewable Funding on securitizing energy efficiency loans for institutional investors.

Clean Fund Raises $60 Million In New Commercial PACE Financing 

Sausalito, Calif.-based Clean Fund says it raised $60 million in new commercial PACE funding. The new capital was raised from both venture investors and a major investment manager to support growth in the firm’s nationwide commercial property financing platform.

Clean Fund’s long-term PACE financing program is specifically tailored for commercial, multifamily and other non-residential properties that are undergoing large renovations or new construction of mechanical, plumbing, solar and electrical systems.

New Resource Efficiency Investment Trust IPO Backed by High Profile Investors 

English financier and environmentalist Ben Goldsmith is launching a new trust focused on resource efficiency, power generation, energy efficiency and storage, and industrial processes, and waste and water management, according to The Guardian. Menhaden Green Investment Trust is planning to raise up to $150M in an IPO on London’s main market on July 31 and make between 20 and 25 investments.

About 40 percent of the trust’s investments will be aimed at publicly traded companies. Thirty percent will be used to back private equity deals, and the other 30 percent will invest in fixed income assets, according to the Financial Times.

The fund is backed by high profile wealthy investors, including Goldsmith’s own relatives and other wealthy families. Investors include well-known London figures including Tom Singh, founder of fashion retailer New Look; venture capitalist Jon Moulton; Deborah Meaden of BBC Dragons’ Den; Lion Capital’s Lyndon Lea; and Michael Spencer, chief executive of ICAP, according to the FT.

“In a resource-constrained world, efficient resource use and profitability are now wholly complementary. We are at a turning point where transformational resource dynamics have resulted in fundamental changes to the supply and demand for efficient energy resources, and a permanent shift in their value,” Goldmith says.

New York Green Bank Raises Another $150 Million  

The state of New York’s Green Bank has received an additional $150 million from its sponsor, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), giving it $368 million to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects across the state.

The Green Bank, which opened in February 2014, has completed one transaction so far, for a $500,000 letter of credit to the Energy Improvement Corporation, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last October, the New York Green Bank announced its first seven transactions totaling $800 million, which it said would focus on solar projects and commercial and residential energy efficiency. The bank is still working to close the transactions.

To  learn more about the New York Green Bank’s strategy from Richard Kauffman, Chairman of NYSERDA and Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, click here.

 

 

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