Interest in clean technology investment opportunities is a phenomenon which has grown in line with increased awareness, education and publicity around the subject of environmental issues both in the political arena and in the general public domain. Despite recent figures showing some decline in private equity fundraising for cleantech-focused funds, there is still substantial investor appetite for the diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy resources and reduce waste emissions.
Fifty-six percent of the private equity fund of funds managers profiled on Preqin’s Investor Intelligence online service seek some form of exposure to cleantech opportunities, whether it be focused on very specific areas, such as environmental services and renewable energy, or funds that cast a wider net in targeting the clean technology industry as a whole. Collectively, these investors have an aggregate of $858bn in private equity assets under management, making them a significant contributor to the asset class.
Of the 166 private equity fund of funds managers which have an interest in cleantech opportunities, AlpInvest Partners is the largest of the group in terms of private equity assets, with $51.4bn currently under management. The Netherlands-based firm actively makes investments into the asset class through managed fund of funds, secondaries and co-investment multi-manager vehicles, as well as through customized separate accounts that it has been awarded. AlpInvest Partners has a wide range of exposure to private equity opportunities, with the majority of its previous investments being in Europe-focused buyout vehicles.
Goldman Sachs AIMS Private Equity is the second largest firm in this sample, and currently has $41bn in private equity assets under management. The fund of funds manager has previously raised two dedicated energy funds, and also includes a focus on cleantech opportunities in a number of its other fund of funds and secondaries vehicles. Goldman Sachs AIMS Private Equity has global exposure to a wide range of private equity fund strategies and geographies, but has demonstrated a particular preference for US-focused buyout vehicles.
The third largest private equity fund of funds manager to hold an interest in cleantech opportunities is Ardian, which has $36bn allocated to private equity opportunities. The French firm also has global exposure to the asset class, and invests in a wide range of fund types through its fund of funds vehicles. Ardian seeks exposure to cleantech companies through primary, secondary, and co-investment opportunities, all as a part of its diversified investment strategy.