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California Angel Fund Steps in to Bridge Cleantech Funding Gap

September 03, 2008

Even in the venture capital-rich state of California during a boom period for clean energy investment, some clean energy entrepreneurs still have a hard time finding the capital resources they desire. As a result, one non-profit venture capital group, with a unique history of its own, is launching a new effort to support early-stage businesses. The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) is currently helping to raise a $20 million angel fund to bridge a perceived gap in seed and start-up stage capital availability. Despite the rapid growth of clean energy investment in the past two years, CalCEF believes that early-stage investment is not yet sufficient to ensure a steady stream of high-quality investments at later stage of development.

CalCEF was created in 2004 as a consequence of Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s bankruptcy settlement negotiated with the California Public Utilities Commission. As a part of that settlement, the company agreed to contribute $30 million to support emerging clean technology energy companies. CalCEF is a non-profit entity that makes for-profit investments in clean energy companies and reinvests its profits in additional companies. The fund invests throughout the PG&E service area, which runs along the California coast from Humboldt to Santa Barbara County and includes the Silicon Valley region.  Its investments have included companies developing renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage technologies, as well as other technologies not always associated with clean energy such as specialized software and advanced communication components.

The CalCEF Angel Fund is a separate organization in which CalCEF acts as a founding limited partner.  As a result, the fund will invest anywhere in the US. Its focus will remain on the same types of companies as the original fund, but at the seed and start-up stage. Investments will range from $300,000 to $500,000 in most cases. The fund expects to develop a portfolio of 12 to 15 companies.

For more information about the CalCEF Angel Fund, visit: http://www.calcefangelfund.com

CalCEF is also in the process of developing a late-stage evergreen clean energy fund to provide greater support for more mature companies still pursuing an exit. This fund, along with the two others, will help provide a full suite of capital resources for clean energy companies throughout their pre-exit lifespan.

Find out more about CalCEF’s other activities at: http://www.calcef.org/

Californiaenergy, capital, angel capital