Chrysalix on pace to raise $150M for third energy fund

While Canada is hosting the Winter Olympics, Vancouver-based Chrysalix Energy has reeled in its own gold.

The cleantech investor announced last week that it has raised an undisclosed amount from Credit Suisse through an investment made from the LP’s affiliate Oregon Investment Fund.

Chrysalix CEO Wal van Lierop says that the new fund, Chrysalix Energy Limited Partnership III, has now raised more than $100 million and is on target to close with $150 million in commitments by the end of March.

Other investors in the fund include Total Energy Ventures, Kuwait Petroleum Corp., Delta Lloyd Private Equity, Robeco Clean Tech Private Equity, Sitra, FondAction and European utilities Fortum and Essent.

The firm raised $70 million for its second fund, which closed in 2005. Previous Chrysalix funds raised money from LPs BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Mitsubishi and Shell, according to the firm and Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).

Chrysalix has already made five investments from its third fund, including Brammo Inc., an Ashland, Ore.-based company developing street electric motorcycles; General Fusion Inc., a Vancouver-based company that is developing a utility-scale fusion engine; and Plas2Fuel Corp., a Tigard, Ore.-based company developing technology to convert waste plastic into fuel.

Chrysalix Energy’s announcement that Credit Suisse invested $100 million in its cleantech fund coincided with Premier Gordon Campbell’s unveiling of the BC Clean Works Initiative to promote British Columbia’s cleantech and services sectors during the Winter Olympic in Vancouver.

Related to that, van Lierop has been leading a local effort in Vancouver, with other businesses and politicians, to lure investments and new business to the city. During the course of the Olympic Games, van Lierop and others are showcasing the Vancouver metropolitan area to 125 companies and their representatives from around the world. Van Lierop and his Vancouver peers, including Mayor Greg Robertson, are hoping their guests see “what a great place Vancouver is for” doing business. Van Lierop estimates that about 1,400 cleantech-related companies are already based in the Vancouver metro area.

Van Lierop says he’s certain to see a direct and tangible result of new business opportunity coming to Vancouver as a result of the Olympics.

“The Olympics provide a wonderful platform to show what we are doing in cleantech and other industries,” van Lierop says. “We expect to see a very significant impact as a result.”

CleanWorks spokesperson Jonathan Rhone, president and CEO of Nexterra Energy, was quoted in the Vancouver Sun noting that British Columbia companies are competing in a global market for investment funds, so an over-arching identity will benefit all of them.

“We realized that all of the sectors within British Columbia that are working on clean energy, whether it’s the universities or the city, or the cleantech community or the power generators, need to collaborate on getting the message out,” Rhone said.

The BC Clean Works Initiative is part of a two-year marketing campaign to promote British Columbia as a center for renewable energy and environmental technology. General Electric, which currently owns a majority of Olympics broadcaster NBC, used the window of the first week of the celebrations to announce two clean power deals in the province. GE has joined forces with Vancouver-based Plutonic Power to build a 196-megawatt hydro project in northeastern British Columbia.

More cleantech-related announcements are expected during the Winter Olympics.