Kleiner Perkins leads $75m cleantech investment

The investment in carbon emission efficiency tech company Silver Springs was made from the venture firm's greentech fund, which is raising $500m and has recently backed a number of hybrid vehicle projects.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is leading a group that has invested $75 million in Silver Springs Networks, a company that provides technology for utilities to cut down on their carbon emissions and operate more efficiently.

The Silicon Valley-based venture firm made the investment with returning investors Foundation Capital, JVB Properties and Northgate Capital.

Kleiner Perkins in May launched a $500 million Green Growth Fund, which is focused exclusively on greentech. The Silver Springs investment came from the Green Growth Fund, the firm said in a statement.

Kleiner Perkins has recently been investing in hybrid car companies. Last month, it participated in a $65 million investment in Fisker Automotive, which is expected to deliver its Fisker Karma, a four-door, plug-in hybrid sports car, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In April, the firm formed a joint venture with RockPort Capital Partners and Think Global, a Norwegian electric vehicle company. RockPort is a cleantech and greentech venture firm, which closed its third fund on $453 million in June.

Think Global is reportedly planning to raise up to $80 million in third-round financing to increase production capacity.