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Cleantech Group raises $3.2 million

February 25, 2010 |  6:28 pm

In 2000, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush asked then-Halliburton Chief Executive Dick Cheney to lead his vice-presidential search committee. Cheney subsequently determined that he himself would be the strongest candidate. The rest is history.

Today, the Cleantech Group made a similar maneuver that even a former oil industry executive such as Cheney would admire. Among the global research and advisory firm’s services are a series of well-attended conferences at which clean-tech entrepreneurs meet and make pitches to potential investors. Principals from many of America’s most active clean-tech venture capital firms, including SAIL Venture Partners, RockPort Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurveston, are among the hundreds of attendees at this week’s Cleantech Group Forum in San Francisco.

But the big news from the forum’s first day wasn’t a funding announcement from one of the dozens of start-ups seeking capital at the conference. Instead, it was a deal announced by the Cleantech Group itself. The firm revealed that it had raised $3.2 million from, among others, SAIL Venture Partners, Credit Suisse and Georgieff Capital.

The investment is the Cleantech Group’s third round of equity financing.  According to President Sheeraz Haji, the funds will be used to expand the Cleantech Group’s research and advisory services to corporations, investors and government agencies. The firm also plans to grow its annual series of conferences with new events in Boston and Chicago.

“The Cleantech Group can be the next Gartner,” said SAIL Venture Partners Managing Partner Thomas Cain, referring to the world’s largest information technology research and advisory company. “Clean tech has as much confusion and people needing help to know where they should focus and what should they invest in – whether they are a corporation, a government or an entrepreneur – as information technology."

-- Yoni Cohen