After decades of venture capital investment, growth and exit, the traditional focus areas of venture capital (such as IT, web and software) have developed strong entrepreneurial ecosystems. A high percentage of start-ups in these traditional areas come to market with one or more experienced entrepreneurs or
It’s a truism that sequels rarely live up to classics. If, like me, you’re a fan of the original Wall Street movie, you probably approached Money Never Sleeps with at least a degree of skepticism. Yet the film debuted at #1 over the weekend, grossing more than $19 million. Regardless of your take on the flick’s quality, its context within the current social and economic climate is
Tony Seba is currently a lecturer in clean energy, entrepreneurship, finance and technology strategy at Stanford University. He is also an internationally known keynote speaker on the future of energy, entrepreneurship, innovation, and cleantech and high-tech market opportunities.
I recently sat down with Tony Seba to discuss his latest book, “Solar Trillions,” which is about market and investment opportunities in the emerging clean-energy economy.
CleanTechies: What is the premise of your book?
Seba: The clean energy economy will provide the largest wealth-building opportunities in history. The world will spend $382 trillion in energy over the next 40 years and every aspect of this industry is up for grabs: from generation and transportation to storage and use. The race for dominance has already started and the entrepreneurs, investors, and countries who win will dominate the 21st century. The problem is that the whole conversation about energy is wrong.
Israel, a global cleantech powerhouse, is now attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in cleantech investment every year.
The country gets more from its soil, water, air, and sunlight than most other nations on earth.
Why has such a small country been able to position itself a world leader in cleantech?
The answer, I believe, is a combination of many factors: its history, attitude of the people, ingenuity, and challenges to survival.
According to my research, the following are major highlights of Israel’s cleantech leadership to date in 2010:
China surged past the United States in clean energy investment and finance for the first time last year, becoming the global leader in the booming renewable energy market, according to a new report.
In 2009, China invested $34.6 billion in the development of renewable energy, nearly twice as much as the $18.6 billion spent by the United States., according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Five years ago, China spent just $2.5 billion.
And while the report said the economic recession was a factor, it concluded that China’s growing dominance in green energy reflects a lack of long-term U.S. policies to provide incentives for the production of alternative energy.
Shai Agassi (left) and the team at Better Place have done it again: almost two years to the day after announcing its first car partnership and its first country deployment in Israel, Better Place today announced that it has signed an agreement with an HSBC-led investor consortium for new equity financing of $350 million. The deal marks one of the largest clean-tech investments in history and values Better Place at $1.25 billion.
This Series B equity financing round features participation from new investors including HSBC, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Lazard Asset Management. These investors will join existing Series A investors including Israel Corp., VantagePoint Venture Partners, Ofer Hi-Tech Holdings, Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, Maniv Energy Capital, and Israel Cleantech Ventures, among others, as shareholders of Better Place. For HSBC, which led the round with an investment of $125 million, the deal represents one of the largest financial investments of its kind by HSBC.
As part of the deal, Kevin Adeson, HSBC Head of Global Capital Financing, will join the Better Place Board of Directors, and HSBC will own approximately 10% of the company’s shares.
According to Eric Straser, a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures and a pioneer in cleantech investing, “In 2009… cleantech…is now garnering nearly 20 percent of all dollars invested by VCs. In 2010, we’ll see public investors get into the action with several IPOs…”
So what VC trends should be influencing the development of your investment strategy?
A “plucky little” country is how the late Princess Diana once described Israel to Shimon Peres. About the size of New Jersey, Israel has a disproportionate number of clean tech companies and investment in clean technology compared to its size.
And now U.S. businessman and investor David Anthony from 21Ventures (at left) is about to reveal his trade secrets and insider information about clean tech investing in Israel.
If you are itching to become a clean tech entrepreneur in Israel, this is must-read information. If you’d like to know more about what makes the industry tick, read on.
Unlike Silicon Valley and the high-tech industry, the clean tech market today has no center of excellence, Anthony tells Green Prophet. In the last 50 years of venture capital investing there has been a saying, “Never fly over your company,” meaning one shouldn’t invest in a company that isn’t within a 60 mile radius of the office.