OAKLAND, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/11/13 -- The recent acquisition in early July of ecoATM by Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR), coupled with Duke Energy's participation last month in a $42 million venture funding round for Clean Power Finance (CPF), Google Ventures participation in the $37M investment in CPF in April 2013, and the $16 million funding in January 2013 of Alphabet Energy by Canadian energy giant Encana Corp. all demonstrate that corporate venture capital energy tech funding is continuing to grow substantially.
"Corporates are looking hard at our portfolio companies and know good opportunities when they see them," said Randy Hawks, a Claremont Creek Ventures co-founder and Managing Director. "These corporates are investing alongside us in many of our energy-tech companies and have been for a couple of years now. We are seeing even more interest though in the last 12 months," added Hawks, a seed and early stage venture investor.
Corporate venture capital investing has focused specifically on clean tech startups as the sector stages a significant rebound. Transportation and energy companies such as General Motors, BMW and Shell have been among 182 companies creating or re-launching venture capital units in the last three years, bringing the total number of U.S. corporate venture arms to a robust 900. They invested $2.2 billion in 2012 and in 2011, an increase from $1.9 billion in 2010 and $1.3 billion in 2009, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
In 2012, more than 20 percent of energy venture investments involved a corporate partner, compared to 15 percent across all venture investments.
The newfound prevalence of corporate venture capital investment in clean technology has been especially obvious at Claremont Creek Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital firm, where eight of the firm's past ten energy technology investments have included a corporate partner in the financing syndicate.
Corporations embrace startup investments because they offer a chance to be a major player in new or expanded markets, while startups often welcome corporation investments as a validation of their technology and for access to enhanced marketing and channel relationships.
Sometimes, a corporate venture capital investment leads to an outright acquisition, which occurred in the case of Outerwall and ecoATM and looks to be a particularly strong win-win proposition.
Outerwall (formerly called Coinstar) had previously invested in two venture capital rounds in ecoATM alongside Claremont Creek Ventures who had invested in ecoATM since it was incubated in San Diego, California.
"We expect this corporate investing trend to continue given the success we are seeing in companies like ecoATM, Alphabet Energy and Clean Power Finance. It bodes extremely well for the ongoing growth of the energy technology sector," said Randy Hawks.
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures (CCV) is a seed and early stage venture firm. The firm focuses on information technology (IT) driven opportunities where it has deep domain expertise such as digital healthcare, energy technology, payments/commerce, and online businesses. CCV builds successful companies today by staying lean, using capital efficiently, and developing great teams. Utilizing the firm's proprietary life-cycle venturing program, CCV partners with entrepreneurs and institutions, including UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Stanford University and UC Davis. Claremont Creek Ventures has more than $300 million in capital under management in two funds. For more information, visit www.claremontcreek.com.
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