SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Feb 11, 2013) - The Northwest Energy Angels (NWEA) (www.nwenergyangels.com) announced today that its members invested a total of $4,696,500 in 15 clean technology companies (eight new and seven follow-on investments) last year, making 2012 the single biggest year of investment since the group was founded in 2006. In addition, 2012 saw investments in companies from Oregon, California and Maryland, as well as a successful exit by one of its earlier investments, Virticus, which was purchased by LSI Industries, Inc.
The eight new investments included companies in a variety of sectors, including: LED Lighting (Pacific Light Technologies); clean energy marketing (Ethical Electric); energy efficient windows (Indow Windows); sustainability data management (Scope 5); green business incubator (Fledge); power inversion (Empower Micro System); green roofs (Columbia Green) and; biomass-based boilers (Greenwood Energy).
NWEA's record year of investments came during a challenging time for early stage cleantech companies. According to industry analyst Cleantech Group (www.cleantech.com), venture capital investments in cleantech were down 31 percent between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 and 19 percent compared to Q4 2011. The group also reported that "In 2012, cleantech companies around the globe raised $6.46 billion of venture capital across 704 rounds, representing a return to 2009 levels after strong years in 2010 and 2011." (source: http://research.cleantech.com/resources/)
"While overall investments in cleantech may have been down, the need to find solutions to climate change has never been greater," said Lars Johansson, co-chair of the Northwest Energy Angels. "We will continue to be a unique and valuable resource for clean technology entrepreneurs seeking seed capital for innovative new products and technologies."
With an average investment of approximately $300,000, and several transactions in which NWEA was the lead or a significant investor, the group continues to play a critical role in seeding promising young companies.
"Northwest Energy Angels aims to fill a much needed -- and important -- gap in funding for clean-technology companies," said Ron Pernick, author of Clean Tech Nation, managing director of clean-tech research firm Clean Edge, and NWEA advisory board member. "While it's hard for all entrepreneurs to raise seed capital, it can be even harder for clean-tech companies given the complexity of their technology and markets, and the often long horizon for commercialization and exit. NWEA understands these issues well, and leverages not only its capital, but its network and know-how, to help early-stage companies."
NWEA is made of up of more than 60 accredited angel investors from across the Pacific Northwest who are successful executives and entrepreneurs providing investment capital, contacts and strategic advice to help young companies achieve market leadership. Since its founding in 2006, NWEA members have invested more than $10 million in 39 companies. The group includes seasoned angel investors and venture capitalists, as well as new angels learning by participating in a cooperative and supportive environment. NWEA provides members with the tools for successful angel investing through a powerful business network and by providing quality deal flow, cooperative due diligence and relevant, timely education. Members of NWEA balance the pursuit of profitable investments with the pursuit of a higher purpose -- accelerating the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable planet.
About Northwest Energy Angels
Northwest Energy Angels, founded in 2006, is the first angel investment group in North America to focus exclusively on the cleantech industry, and continues to be a leading funder of early stage clean tech companies across the country. A non-profit organization, Northwest Energy Angels helps create successful cleantech companies by connecting promising entrepreneurs with experienced cleantech investors. Northwest Energy Angel members add value to the companies they invest in and act as a bridge to institutional investors. To date, members have invested more than $10 million in 39 companies in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and British Columbia, Canada. More information is available via the web at: www.nwenergyangels.com.