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Xconomy’s Bruce Bigelow writes today about the mood among venture capitalists in this bad market. The post caught my eye because in my reporting on venture capital in San Diego I’d been told that cleantech is one area that is still attracting investment.

But Bigelow’s post seems to indicate that some feel that the bloom may already be coming off the cleantech rose. From his post:

Glen Kacher, who oversees mostly software-related investments as a managing director in the Menlo Park, CA, office of Integral Capital Partners, said he oversees public companies such as Intuit and Adobe as undervalued opportunities. As a sector for potential venture investing, Kacher said he sees companies that specialize in software-as-a-service as “a major growth vehicle.”

Kacher later voiced skepticism about the cleantech and renewable energy sector, saying, Silicon Valley’s VC firms poured hundreds of millions into ethanol startups without thinking through to the billions of dollars required to finance production projects. “It’s easier to innovate on ones and zeros than it is on material sciences and physics,” he said.

Ric Spencer provided a different perspective, however, on the cleantech sector. Spencer, who oversees a global media and telecommunications investment banking group at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in Silicon Valley, said he views cleantech innovation as a growth industry — especially with the federal economic stimulus package allocating $55 billion to develop such technologies. “There are too many dollars are being spent on the sector, and it just seems like there’s too big of an opportunity to ignore,” Spencer said.


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