Investor John Doyer: Silicon Valley should be ‘triple down’ to clean tech

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(Bloomberg) – Venture capitalist John Doyer, who bankrolled some of the collapsed green technology companies a decade ago, believes the current explosion of clean energy financing will not repeat history, even as investment markets begin to talk.

“People often ask us, ‘Is this a bubble?'” Dyer said at a climate technology conference in San Francisco on Friday. “No, it’s not a bubble. I like to think of it as a boom. The boom period, yes, leads to some exaggeration, but they are also investing heavily, full of jobs and rapid innovation. “

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Doerr’s firm, Kleiner Perkins, is one of several Silicon Valley stallwarts that has raised money for areas such as electric vehicles, batteries and carbon accounting. Climate technology companies raised a record $ 53.7 billion in private funding in 2021, according to figures from Clean Energy Research Group BloombergNEF.

These startups are now facing a brutal market turnaround that has cut costs across Silicon Valley and prompted investor caution. For some company founders and financiers, this may be a cold echo from a decade ago, when clean energy companies like Solindra went bankrupt or failed to survive on high valuations.

Doerr, whose firm fought the Clean Tech investment, said the final financial calculations of the previous Clean Tech Wave were not as bad as people thought. Speaking at an event hosted by Climate Draft, a new industry group for entrepreneurs and investors, he said his firm was worth তখন 1 billion at the time, “about 3 billion today.” “Not as great as WhatsApp,” Doer added, “but a positive return that we should celebrate.”

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Investors have blamed Kovid-19 for the current market instability, supply chain problems and an “incompetent” conduct of the war in Ukraine, which led to an increase in oil production. He said the current market situation was an invitation to raise more funds in the sector, not backwards. “We need to triple, if not double, clean energy, alternative policies and technology,” he said. Although the growth rate of oil and gas companies has increased since the war in Ukraine, public renewable energy and clean tech companies have suffered. Invesco Wilderhill Clean Energy EFT, a clean energy fund that includes solar and electric vehicle companies, has declined 30% since the beginning of the year.

At Friday’s event, Ryan Panchadasaram, an adviser to Kleiner Parkinson who joined Doyer on stage, asked the audience to raise their hands if they have been raising a dedicated climate fund for the past six months. Several have. “I can’t see the slowness,” he said. “I think the assessment will be more responsible.”

Doer, an experienced investor, urges listeners and entrepreneurs to be aware of the risks, costs and companies responsible for their sector. “Lesson number two,” he said, “you’ll always raise money. Get it good. Go where you enjoy it.”

Earlier this month, Doer announced a 1.1 billion grant to build a school at Stanford University focused on climate change and sustainability, the largest grant in the organization’s history.

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