Cleantech Investment On The Rise Again In The US – $1.5 Billion In Q2 2010

According to an Ernst & Young analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource, venture capital investment in US-based cleantech companies hit $1.5 billion for the second quarter, in 68 financing rounds. That translates to an increase of 63.8 percent in capital and a 4.6 percent increase in deals compared to the same period last year.

The $1.5 billion mark also means the highest level of venture funding for the cleantech industry was reached since the third quarter of 2008 (i.e. two years ago).

Globally, market research firm Cleantech Group and Deloitte recently pegged total cleantech venture investments to total $2.02 billion across 140 companies.

According to Ernst & Young, later stage venture financings were the main driver of investment growth in the United States for Q2 2010, with $891 million invested in 33 deals, and later stage deals accounting for 59% of total funding in the quarter. Compared to Q2 2009, later stage activity rose an impressive 83.3% in terms of deals and 143% in terms of dollars.

Noteworthy: the top 10 deals alone accounted for nearly $1 billion or two thirds of total funding for Q2 2010 ($993 million to be exact).

One investment deal closed in the second quarter that helped boost US cleantech investments to its highest level in 2 years a great deal was the $350 million injection into Better Place.

Tesla Motors was also in the spotlight in Q2 as it completed an IPO and then received a $50 million strategic investment from Toyota to jointly develop electric vehicles.

Five of the top 10 VC deals in Q2 2010 were in the solar segment, which received $438.8 million, an increase of 182.6 percent compared to Q2 2009. Following solar, the biofuels segment also received significant VC investments in Q2 2010 with $265.7 million, an increase of 517.2 percent compared to the same period last year.