First in kind fund conducts successful close, invests in Alphabet Energy and REEL Solar
SAN FRANCISCO – September 22, 2010 – The CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund (“CalCEF Angel Fund”) today announced the final close of its premier fund with just under $11 million in committed capital from leading institutional and individual investors including the PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund. Founded in 2008 to help bridge a critical clean energy funding gap, the CalCEF Angel Fund invests in early-stage clean energy companies spanning the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
“Transparency and participation from our limited partners is the cornerstone of the CalCEF Angel Fund’s investment strategy. Taking the shape of a hybrid fund, our approach is a cross between a direct angel model and venture firm where visibility, collaboration and resource sharing are spread among all partners,” said Susan Preston, general partner of the CalCEF Angel Fund. “This successful close in the midst of a difficult fundraising climate is a testament to the promise of this fund model.”
Ian Rogoff, chairman of the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization and active angel investor, added, “Exceptional deal flow, rigorous due diligence, and a solid network of fellow angels and industry resources is what drew me to the CalCEF Angel Fund. A limited partner since 2008, I’ve gained access to quality clean energy deals at the seed stage and appreciate the team’s investment philosophy and analysis process.”
The CalCEF Angel Fund was launched in 2008 by the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) to address the funding gap between initial founder money and more traditional venture capital. The investment focus includes early-stage, capital-efficient clean energy technologies, specifically in the solar, energy efficiency, transportation and lighting sectors. In addition to providing capital of up to $500,000 per round, the CalCEF Angel Fund provides ongoing strategic guidance, including market and regulatory intelligence, to its diverse investment portfolio, currently comprised of four companies.
“The CalCEF Angel Fund operates at a pivotal point in clean energy financing—investing in companies at the earliest stage of innovation—where high risk is rewarded with high potential returns, both economic and societal,” explains Dan Adler, president of the California Clean Energy Fund and advisor to the Angel Fund’s investment committee. “There are tremendous opportunities to fund young starts-ups and to profit; yet the traditional investment cycle has not formally evolved to include the necessary level of early-stage funding.”
Recent additions to the CalCEF Angel Fund portfolio include Alphabet Energy, a startup commercializing a low-cost waste heat recovery technology developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and REEL Solar, which has developed a low-cost cadmium telluride (CdTE) electro-deposition process for manufacturing solar cells. The CalCEF Angel Fund is part of a preferred stock financing round in REEL Solar co-led by CMEA Capital and Pangaea Ventures to fund further development and demonstration of competitive attributes.
“The CalCEF Angel Fund is more than an investor for REEL. The fund managers and partners bring a unique breadth of knowledge and relationships that are critical to our growth and technology commercialization,” said Edward C. Grady, Chairman and CEO of REEL Solar.
About CalCEF Angel Fund:
The CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund is a first-in-kind venture capital fund dedicated to making market-based returns in seed-and early-stage clean energy companies. The Fund deploys deep industry networks and experience to target capital-efficient companies focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and related products and services designed to enhance the clean energy sector. For more information, go to www.calcefangelfund.com.
Katie Struble at Antenna Group
(for CalCEF Angel Fund)