As climate change comes to the forefront of more conversations, Boston’s Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) has closed its first fund for $110 million.
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The cash will be invested in early-stage energy startups in the United States and Canada, according to a statement from the firm. CEV is led by David S. Miller, Daniel Goldman and Temple Fennell.
“After more than a decade of investing in the advanced energy sector, it’s been gratifying that this first fund, which is focused on investments that address climate risks, was significantly oversubscribed. It’s really indicative not only of investors’ appetite for innovation in these sectors, but also of the new normal in which this kind of funding is possible without compromising return on investment,” CEV managing director Daniel Goldman said in a statement.
CEV has made seven investments in areas that include smart grid sensors, software, and residential and industrial energy efficiency. It led a round for Energy Sage (online marketplace for energy products) for its $1.5 million Series A in May 2015 and Pika Energy (direct current solar power electronics) for its $2.25 million Series A in February 2016. Pika was later acquired by Generac Power Systems.
Its most recent investment was in April when it backed Energetic Insurance, according to Crunchbase..
The firm’s investment strategy will be focused on “low-cost, capital-efficient” energy tech that could reduce emissions, the statement said. C“We’ll continue to focus on early-stage clean energy entrepreneurs with disruptive hardware and materials technology solutions and capital-light business models that have the potential to massively scale,” Goldman said.
CEV has focused primarily in clean energy companies in the U.S., which makes sense as the firm is based in Boston and the city is a burgeoning startup hub.
CEV’s advisory board is chaired by Ernest Moniz, the former U.S. secretary of energy. It also includes British Petroleum’s former chief scientist.
In a world where venture firms’ new funds typically have the goal of just bringing in more money for its investors, it’s nice to see one with a mission to make the world more energy efficient.
Editorial note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of companies CEV had invested in. It has invested in seven companies, not 18.
Illustration Credit: Li-Anne Dias