The growth equity fund Silver Lake Kraftwerk had originally wanted $1.25 billion when it was conceived in 2011 but has since settled for a less ambitious $750 million. Silver Lake Kraftwerk is almost there, however, having pulled in $653 million, according to recent filings. The fund was at about $300 million last summer and is raising a consistent amount of money over the fund’s lifetime. I had hoped we might start to see a bit of an uptick of limited partners moving back into cleantech investing after the disaster that was 2012 for cleantech VC in which funding fell by a third.
But I still believe we’ll see a rebound in cleantech VC. Though it might just take another 2-3 years. SolarCity and Tesla are two of the hottest stocks in 2013 with the best post-IPO performance (contrast SolarCity’s quadrupling with Facebook just beginning to recover over a year post-IPO). Additionally, the macro forces driving energy efficiency investing aren’t going away and as the global economy slowly turns in the right direction I’m waiting for a spike in natural gas prices, which there are signs of, and a further uptick in oil prices. All models points to 2019 for grid parity between solar and fossil fuels and as that date approaches (just 6 years away), the wolves will start jumping in, acquiring promising startups and betting long on renewable energy.