It is 1849 again, only this time the movement of caravans are not traveling West, but are headed East to Washington D.C. I’m referring to the passing of the $787B stimulus package aka American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 that was recently signed by President Obama.
The NVCA had a conference call last week, on Tuesday 2/17/09, to describe what the effect of the stimulus package is for the VC industry and the call was certainly a positive one. The good news for startups and VCs is that roughly 8% of the $787B is going to support initiates in the cleantech and life science sectors. According to the NVCA, the breakdown of the allocated funding is as follows; $37B for cleantech related programs/projects, $19B for healthcare IT, and $5B for science related programs/projects. To put these figures into perspective, according to the recent PWC/NVCA MoneyTree report, VCs invested $28B in 2008 and of that $4.6B went to energy related companies. Another figure that put things into perspective, since 2002, VCs have invested a total of $13B in energy related companies, so the stimulus package provides the industry roughly 3X this total amount.
The stimulus package is a huge boost to both startups and VCs in the cleantech sector. Lets focus on the $37B available for cleantech companies; those that will fair the best are ones that are currently generating revenue and/or are close to production. In addition, the folks at the NVCA indicated that the companies that have the strongest ties to D.C/DOE will likely move to the front of the line. Lastly, those that have the most postive impact on job creation will do well, so I suspect that companies in the solar, wind, biofuel, battery/auto, and smartgrid sectors will get most of the allocated funding. With that in mind, a partial list of privately held venture backed companies that are heading East for some cash and will likely strike gold are (in no particular order):
Solar: BrightSource Energy, Solyndra, Solar City, NanoSolar, SolFocus, Miasole, Fat Spaniel, AVA Solar, CaliSolar, eSolar, Konarka
Battery/Auto: Better Place, A123 Systems, Tesla, Boston Power, Fisker, Deeya
Biofuels: Range Fuels, Mascoma, Amyris, Altra Biofuels, Qteros
Smartgrid: Silver Spring Networks, Gridpoint
Wind: Northern Power, Southwest Windpower, Wasatch Wind,
Discolsure – I put together this list based on information that has already been made public and is readily available online.