Investment in the cleantech sector increased in Q1 2004 by 45% compared to Q4 2003, according to the most recent issue of the Cleantech Venture Monitor, released by the Cleantech Venture Network.Howell, Michigan – July 16, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “For the first time since we began tracking this type of information at the start of 2002, energy-related investments did not receive the largest share of cleantech dollars, as they were overtaken by “Materials and Nanotechnology” and “Industrial and Manufacturing” deals,” said Nicholas Parker, co-founder and chairman of the Cleantech Venture Network. “These numbers show that the cleantech segment continues to mature as an investment category. There is money to be made in this sector, and the survey data reinforces that with the worldwide rush to modernization, massive global appetite for natural resources and the continuous environmental challenges.” In another sign that cleantech venturing is a sustainable investment category, cleantech captured 6.6% of the $4.6 billion invested overall in North America, up from 4.0% in the unusually-weak previous quarter. The average investment deal size was also up by more than 52% from Q4 2003, and by 15% from Q1 2003, to just under $7.1 million per deal. The average investment in venture deals across all industries was $7.5 million in Q1 2004. “Although investor and stakeholder interest in the cleantech investment area is unprecedented, many if not most investors remain skeptical that there are attractive financial returns to be made,” Parker said. To address this issue, Cleantech Venture Network is collaborating with Vortex Energy and a group of investor sponsors to study the historical and projected returns, exits and performance of cleantech ventures. The group expect this report to be published and available for purchase in September. The survey found a counterbalance to investor interest in a broader range of cleantech deals, as investment deals had a greater geographic focus on the West Coast. These accounted for just over half of all capital invested in Q1, and a smaller number of later-stage deals, with 73% of capital deployed into follow-on rounds. Cleantech Venture Network will be hosting the Cleantech Venture Forum V, October 25 to 27, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Cleantech Venture Forum is held twice annually once on both the East and West Coasts. Up to 400 attendees are expected at Cleantech Venture Forum V, after more then 300 attended Venture Forum IV in San Francisco. During the Forum, attendees hear presentations from companies in the clean technology industry, participate in meetings with key investors including business angels, venture capitalists, fund managers, investment bankers and corporations, and take advantage of leading-edge information and research on investment opportunities from leading thinkers on clean technology innovations and trends. For more information see the following link.