Cleantech first-quarter 2013 analysis and outlook

1Executive Summary

The first quarter of cleantech was a mix of good and bad news. Avis’ purchase of Zipcar and Silver Spring Networks’ long-awaited IPO finally occurring were further signs of thawing capital markets and movement in the acquisition space. However, in both situations valuations were lower than hoped, a sign of how investors currently view cleantech.

Key highlights from the quarter include:

  • Silver Spring Networks raised a little more than half the capital it had hoped for in its public offering but received a warm reception from investors with the IPO oversubscribed.
  • Tesla inched toward its eventual profitability—a major milestone in automotive history. The company now turns toward expanding its margins to 25 percent.
  • Avis got into the car-sharing game big time with its purchase of market-leader Zipcar. Many fear that the acquisition will destroy Zipcar’s hip and innovative culture, but Zipcar needed the capital and infrastructure that Avis can provide.
  • The 2012 cleantech venture capital figures showed a one-third decline since 2011. Buried in this difficult news is an overall decline in venture investment across the board as well as the reality that smart cleantech venture capitalists (VCs) will have their pick of the highest quality companies to finance.

Source: flickr user Autoviva

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Adam Lesser

Cleantech Curator Gigaom Research

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