Venture capital investment in clean technology reached $1.9 billion in the first quarter, climbing 83 percent from last year, according to a report by the Cleantech Group and Deloitte.
Startups in North America raised the greatest share among 180 companies around the world, a three-year peak for the area with $1.5 billion, or 81 percent of all investments. That’s a 79 percent rise from the 2009 fourth quarter slump, described as a “blip” by Cleantech Group President Sheeraz Haji.
There was a 49 percent drop from the fourth quarter in investments raised by firms in Europe and Israel, which amounted to $257 million, or 14 percent of the global total. Funding attracted by companies in China and India amounted to less than 5 percent of the total worldwide.
Thirteen initial public offerings for the first quarter totaled $1.5 billion, close to half the sum of the 18 IPOs made in the last quarter of 2009.
Some half a dozen companies aborting or postponing plans to go public late last year or early in 2010 cited poor market conditions or lack of interest from investors. The report projected that several IPOs are likely in the next two quarters, if market conditions don’t dramatically worsen.
Venture investors especially active in the first quarter included Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Braemar Energy Ventures, Carbon Trust Investments, Foundation Capital and Good Energies.
Meanwhile, a report from research firm Datamonitor on Tuesday projected that cleantech investment will jump by 35 percent in 2010.