• Though the data analyzed for this report went only through September 1, 2021, 2021 has already proved to be a banner year for venture capital investment in Clean Tech. Investment is up 44 percent from 2020 ($11.21 billion total in 2021) in California. This is the single biggest dollar increase year-over-year ever, and the largest percent change since 2018—when it increased 144 percent from 2017. Land Use,114 Carbon Tech,115 and Industry & Materials116 have more than doubled their 2020 total thus far in 2021. 2021 investment occurred over fewer deals than in 2020, though this number may end up being higher than in the year prior once full 2021 data is available.
  • The three largest subcategories of venture capital in California in 2021 so far have been light duty road transport, carbon fintech, and battery technology. Venture capital into light road transport accounted for 58 percent ($5.37 billion) of California’s total investment into Clean Tech in 2021. Carbon Fintech, which is made up of green investment firms, brought in $2 billion in 2021; however, all that funding went to Generate Capital, a green financier out of San Francisco. Battery technology investment has increased from around $285 million in 2020 to $878 million thus far in 2021. Sila Technologies ($590 million) and Ample ($195 million), both companies in the car battery space, account for 89 percent of the venture capital generated in the battery technology field in 2021.

114 Land Use is a Clean Tech category with companies focused on improving land use practices. This category is comprised of Climate/Earth Data, Earth and Marine Protection, Land Use Management, Low GHG Infrastructure, and Reforestation & Afforestation companies.

115 Carbon Tech is a Clean Tech category with companies specializing in various technological aspects related to carbon. The subcategories are Analytics (Carbon Tech), Biochar, Carbon Accounting, Carbon Capture, Carbon Fintech, Carbon Sequestration, and Carbon Utilization.

116 Industry and Materials is a Clean Tech category comprised of companies specializing in industrial application of Clean Tech. This category includes Chemicals, Construction Materials, Fuel Alternatives (Industrial Uses), Manufacturing, Mining Tech, and Recycling to Energy.

  • Increased investment in clean transportation may help drive the emissions reductions that are badly needed in that sector. Over half of California’s Clean Tech venture capital in 2021 has gone to Transport and Mobility ($6.5 billion).117 $5.4 billion of that has gone to light road transport, such as personal EVs or electric scooters. $5.15 billion of the light road transport has gone to solely to Rivian, the EV maker out of Irvine, CA.

117 Transport and Mobility is a Clean Tech category made up of companies in the transportation and mobility fields. The subcategories are Air Transport, Autonomous, Battery Tech (Transportation), EV Infrastructure, Green Hydrogen, Low GHG Shipping, Micro Mobility, Mobility Solutions, Road Transport Light Duty, Road Transport Heavy Duty, Shared Mobility, Smart Infrastructure (Transportation), and Software (Transportation and Mobility).