Venture firms placed big bets on solar companies during the second quarter, hoping to give them enough juice to make it to the public markets.
Three of the 10 largest investments during the quarter went to companies trying to build solar power plants, according to preliminary data based on Thomson Reuters research.
The company is looking to build five large solar-thermal plants in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, and BrightSource has signed agreements to tentatively provide PG&E Corp. with 900 megawatts of energy a year once the plants are completed in 2011.
Large cleantech deals helped to lift up an otherwise tepid investment market in the second quarter. Each cleantech company that received financing typically received twice as much as a technology company.
Overall, VCs invested about $6.4 billion in 900 companies during the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. The MoneyTree Survey by Thomson Reuters, National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers is due to come out later this month, but the preliminary numbers seem to indicate a slight decline in funding from the same period in 2007, when 1,029 companies raised $7.36 billion from VCs.
Still, there were several large investments in advertising-oriented technologies during the second quarter. Advertising agency