VantagePoint pulls billion-dollar VC fund after LPs fail to bite


VantagePoint Capital Partners, one of the biggest names in cleantech venture capital investment, has reportedly pulled its latest fund due to a lack of LP appetite.

The California, US-headquartered firm had initially targeted $1.25bn for the VantagePoint CleanTech Partners III vehicle but now CEO Alan Salzman told Dow Jones the fund had been ‘pulled’.

No statement has yet been released by the firm, which last year quietly changed its name from VantagePoint Venture Partners as macro market conditions continued to cause pain to traditional early-stage investing.

VantagePoint is an investor in some of the most game-changing technologies in the sector including electric vehicle sportscar maker Tesla – which carried out one of the biggest IPOs seen in the green space – and biotechnology business Solazyme, which also went public in 2011.

Others such as Israeli eco-transport company Better Place and solar group MiaSolé, however, have not weathered the storm so well.

Widely-known as ‘Mr Cleantech’ Salzman has previously led the firm to commit over $4bn of capital primarily on energy innovation and energy efficiency but also in the areas of information technology, internet and digital media and healthcare.

Launched in 1996, the firm also has a growing presence in Asia with a $100m China cleantech fund launched in 2010 and a portfolio that includes InvestLab, MyFP and Pica8.

Salzman previously said that he has a simple theory surrounding cleantech – it makes this cheaper and better. Though this often comes at a cost.

He said, “I have been able to reduce the sum of cleantech to one word. That word is modernisation. When you look at the industries that are affected by cleantech, the thing that strikes most of us who have spent of our entire careers working in technology, is simply how antiquated much of the technology is.

“From an entrepreneurial viewpoint, modern technology will play a vital role and will enable new innovations to sweep across the globalenergy industry.”

A filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission shows for the VantagePoint CleanTech Partners III fund was launched in December 2010.

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