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More green goes to green projects

November 2, 2011 |  6:00 am

Venture capitalists are pouring money into clean technology even as investors scale back funding in many other areas.

Firms in the green sector raised almost $1.2 billion in the third quarter – up 73% from $684 million collected in the same period last year, according to a report released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.
The number of deals in the quarter grew to 76 from 56, according to the report, based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

“Confidence in cleantech investing continues despite the challenging investment market,” said Jay Spencer, a director at Ernst & Young.

It was the first time the sector had an increase in funding since the third quarter of 2008.
California pulled in an overwhelming majority of the deals and dollars.

The state lead the pack with 32 deals -- second was Massachusetts with nine. And California’s clean-tech companies received more than half of all the money raised, collecting $583 million in the quarter, up 74% from the same period last year.

Most of that money is going to Northern California, but Southern California is home to some new projects, said Mark Sogomian, a partner at Ernst & Young. He pointed, in particular, to the launch of the clean-tech business incubator in Los Angeles last month.

“It’s really setting the groundwork for early stage companies to grow and thrive here in Los Angeles,” Sogomian said, “and hopefully garner venture capital investment down the road.”

-- Angel Jennings

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