Today in Cleantech

The Cleantech Group released its report on first quarter 2011’s green technology venture capital investment, and what a quarter it was. We’ve already reported on the top-line figure of $2.57 billion, which is the second-highest quarter on record after Q3 2008’s $3 billion — what else is going on? Well, first of all, North America took the lion’s share of the money, with 85 percent of the total, or $2 billion — way up from the $1.04 billion North American greentech firms got the fourth quarter of 2010. Secondly, solar continued to top the roster, with $594 million in 26 deals, followed by green transportation with $311 million — both sectors driven by several $100 million-plus deals for later-stage companies striving to reach commercial production stage. Indeed, in a first quarter that saw the only 159 funding rounds, the smallest number since mid-2009, later-stage investments dominated, with 65 percent of the deals and 93 percent, or $2.39 billion, of the quarter’s dollar total. Finally, while greentech IPOs were way down — nine in the first quarter for $2.1 billion, from 30 for $8.24 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 — greentech M&A was way up, with 215 transactions and $15.3 billion for the 49 transactions that disclosed valuations, up from the fourth quarter’s 148 transactions and $8.76 billion for the 45 that disclosed financial terms.