VantagePoint Venture Partners, a large Silicon Valley venture capital firm, is raising a $300 million fund to invest in green technology project financings, according to VentureWire (subscription required).
As a first step, it is taking over an existing portfolio company New Energy Capital Corp., which specializes in project finance.
The move reflects an attempt by to adjust to realities in the sector. The best opportunities may not always be investing in new technologies. Rather, they may be in financing existing ideas or companies — with large amounts of debt, not equity. For example, large ethanol production plants require millions of dollars for construction, but they’re guaranteed revenue streams once they are built.
VantagePoint says it has 13 investment professionals working in the clean-technology area. The new fund will be called the Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, according to the report:
The investment team at the VantagePoint Cleantech Infrastructure Fund will resemble that of New Energy Capital’s core investment group. Scott Brown, chief executive of New Energy Capital and the former president and CEO of solar equipment manufacturer Glasstech Solar Inc., will take a leadership role in the new fund.
Everett Smith III, the chief financial officer at New Energy Capital, and Pinaki Bhattacharyya, a director with New Energy Capital, will also join the VantagePoint Cleantech Infrastructure Fund team. In addition, Curt Whittaker, previously an advisor to NEC, has also joined the infrastructure fund.