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RockPort raises $453m for cleantech

The US-focussed venture firm has closed its third fund targeting energy and power, advanced materials and process and prevention technologies.

Boston, Massachusetts-based venture firm RockPort Capital Partners has closed its third cleantech fund on $453 million (€289 million), slightly above its $450 million hard cap.

RockPort defines cleantech as energy and power, advanced materials and process and prevention technologies. The firm is agnostic as to whether it targets early, middle and late stage companies.

The firm raised the fund without the help of a placement agent in approximately three to four months, co-founder and managing general partner Wilber James told PEO.

The majority of limited partners from Fund II also invested in Fund III, James said. The fund is split approximately evenly between new and returning investors.

“For us, this a confirmation from some of the world’s most sophisticated investors that cleantech is, in fact, the third leg of the VC stool, the first two being life sciences and information tech,” James said.

Fund III has not yet made its first investment but the firm has a robust pipeline, James said. Fund II, which closed on $261 million in January 2006, is currently 75 percent invested with some capital reserved for follow on investments.

James also noted the positive social impact of cleantech investment. “For us it’s about the return for our invested capital but it doesn’t mean we don’t take great pride in some of the investments that we make,” he said.

RockPort has made 40 investments to date and has more than $850 million in capital under management. The firm has made only one international investment in Norwegian electric car company Think Global with the rest being in the US.