The Westly Group Announces New $160 Million Cleantech Fund

The Westly Group announced last week that it had raised its second cleantech venture capital fund. With $160 million in committed capital, the new fund represents a 25% increase over the size of the firm’s previous fund and reflects two key trends in cleantech finance: the engagement of corporate investors and the globalization of cleantech. Investors in the new fund include E.ON, a German utility, and SK Group, a Korean conglomerate, in addition to Citi.

In an interview with BERC at Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, managing partners Steve Westly, Gary Dillabough, and Mike Dorsey were bullish about opportunities in the cleantech sector. For example, Westly and Dillabough, both former eBay executives, drew parallels between today’s cleantech market and the early stages of the e-commerce market. The team also highlighted the increasingly significant role of strategic corporate investors in the sector.

The new venture capital fund will target revenue-generating high growth companies, as well as start-ups with capital-efficient business models (think “cleanweb,” a category of clean technology that leverages the capabilities of the internet, social media, and mobile technologies).

Located in Menlo Park, The Westly Group has had four portfolio companies go public on the NASDAQ, including Tesla Motors.