We’re seeing a healthy amount of fund-raising for clean tech and sustainable investment vehicles recently. Several newly launched funds are raising sizeable amounts of capital due to growing LP demand for sustainability strategies, including both project finance and venture capital funds. Here’s a look at some of the recent activity.
New Project Finance & Deployment Capital Funds
Boston and Montreal-based Spring Lane Capital, launched in August, is seeking $400 million for its first fund. Spring Lane is being led by former partners of Black Coral Capital, a family office-backed private equity vehicle that focused on cleantech investing which is currently being wound down.
Black Coral had a “flexible capital” approach to funding sustainability companies and projects, including both venture capital and project financing, that enabled technology developers to offer their products through no-money-down leases and shared-savings models to corporate customers.
The firm’s deployment capital focus was on “pioneering stage” clean tech developers using relatively new, yet proven, technologies. These projects are typically $20 million and below, a range that’s deemed too risky by traditional financiers. This creates a capital gap in the market, which funds like Spring Lane and Black Coral, as well as specialty finance companies like Generate Capital, have been looking to fill.
Spring Lane will take a similar approach to Black Coral, focusing on “funding the deployment of smaller-scale projects and equipment in the energy, water, food and waste industries,” according its description.
Major deployment financing opportunities exist in behind-the-meter energy storage, microgrids, rooftop solar, community solar, distributed food production and distributed wastewater treatment, partner Rob Day told CleanTechIQ prior to the fund’s launch.
As CleanTechIQ has reported, institutional investors are increasingly seeking clean tech infrastructure project financing opportunities. According to one of the new fund’s partners we spoke with, Spring Lane is generating strong interest from Canadian institutional investors.
CleanTechIQ has developed a proprietary LP mandate database that includes institutional investors with sustainable investing and ESG mandates. Please contact us at info@cleantechiq if you are interested in this data.
New $350M C&I Solar Fund Closed, Oversubscribed
In June, Westport, Connecticut-based True Green Capital Management, an infrastructure asset management firm with more than $500 million under management, raised $350 million for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar project investments.
The fund saw strong demand from LPs, including institutional investors and family offices. The new fund was oversubscribed and raised more capital than True Green’s previous two funds. “Institutional investors have become familiar with the asset class,” Managing Partner Panos Ninios says of the strong demand.
See CleanTechIQ’s Distributed Solar Financing briefing, which includes key corporate adoption trends, financing opportunities and new project finance funds.
CleanTech VC Fund Raises $400 Million
The Technology Impact Fund, a new venture capital fund, is raising $400 million, according to an August filing with the SEC. The fund is the latest launch by Capricorn Investment Group and will be managed by Dipender Saluja and Ion Yadigaroglu, both partners at the firm. Capricorn, founded by former eBay President Jeffrey Skoll. invests about $5 billion from half a dozen individuals and foundations across all asset classes, with a focus on “values-based, sustainable investment practices,” according to its website.
The launch comes off the heels of Capricorn and Vision Ridge’s 2016 closing of $430 million for another new fund, the Sustainable Asset Fund, that focuses on clean energy and sustainable resource use. Its investments include an electric vehicle fleet provider, energy efficiency financing for C&I customers, and solar projects.
Cleantech Venture Fund Increases its Fundraising Target
Oakland-based Congruent Ventures is now raising $200 million for its initial venture capital fund, according to an SEC filing in July. That’s an increase over the $50 million it was reportedly raising in April.
The fund will focus on investing in seed and Series A stage “sustainable technologies,” including both hardware- and software-based companies, according to an April interview.
One of the fund’s partners is Abe Yokell, who previously was a partner at venture capital firm RockPort Capital Partners, where he focused on investing in cleantech companies.
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