Braemar Energy Ventures Closes $250M Fund

Dow Jones Venture wire
By Jonathan Shieber

October 5, 2007

Exemplifying the growing appetite from institutional investors for clean technology, Braemar Energy Ventures has raised $250 million for its second fund with a number of new limited partners.

The New York-based firm said in a statement that its Braemar Energy Ventures II LP Fund was significantly oversubscribed, and included new investors such as Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments, GIC Special Investments — the investment vehicle of the government of Singapore - and Kuwait Petroleum Company Energy Ventures Inc.

Among the larger investors participating in the fund were previous investor MassMutual, and Robeco Investment Management, Macquarie Investment Management Ltd. and the PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, whose anchor investor is the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

“We're clearly seeing interest from institutional investors outside of the pension funds that have put money in [to clean technology],” said Mark Nydam, managing director of PCG Asset Management LLC, in an interview.

“Institutions are starting to see this as part of their fiduciary responsibility. They see climate change as a real issue that could affect the value of their overall portfolio, so they feel the need to be exposed to cleantech companies in order to be good fiduciaries,” Nydam said.

The fund will typically invest between $5 million and $20 million in each portfolio company over the life of an investment from startup to expansion stage capital.

Investments in Braemar Energy Ventures' first fund included Boston-based EnerNOC Inc., a demand response management and services company, now publicly traded on the Nasdaq, and Celunol Inc., a Dedham, Mass.-based developer of cellulosic ethanol processing technologies that merged with the San Diego-based publicly traded specialty enzymes developer Diversa Corp. in June.

The firm has made investments in waste-to-energy, fuel processing, batteries, photovoltaics, energy-related information technology and clean coal, according to a statement. The firm has made one investment from its new fund, in an undisclosed clean coal company.

“A lot of the issues the energy sector faces will be solved by new technology,” said Braemar Energy Ventures Managing Director Neil Suslak. “The institutions that we spoke with were very interested in investing and saw a lot of drivers making this a sector that had long-term opportunities.”

Along with Suslak, the latest Braemar Energy Ventures fund will be controlled by managing directors Dennis Costello, William Lese, and George Reichenbach.