Clean tech investments continue to bloom

The enduring appeal of the clean tech investment sector was underlined this week with the news that California-based venture capital firm Westley Group has closed a $120m (£73m) fund-raising round that reportedly exceeded expectations by 20 per cent.

Few details about the fund have been released, but it is expected to invest an average of $5m in promising clean tech firms with a further $3m reserved for subsequent funding rounds.

Founded by former eBay executive and California state controller Steve Westley, the clean tech-focused VC firm already has 13 companies in its portfolio, including recycling firm RecycleBank, electric car company Tesla, and smart grid firm Eka Systems. It was also one of the early investors in high-profile electric car firm Tesla.

According to reports, the new fund is expected to initially focus on battery technology firms, as well as start-ups in the fields of recycling and green building technology and materials.

The fact that the fund exceeded its $100m fund-raising target will be taken as further evidence that the clean tech sector is fast recovering after a slow start to the year.

Rival VC firm Khosla Ventures recently raised a whopping $1.1bn for two new clean tech funds, while research over the summer revealed that global private equity investment in the clean tech sector bounced back strongly during the second quarter, rising 12 per cent to $1.2bn.

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