Clean tech ventures are exiting the venture phase at a slower rate than in 2021. The number of total exits is 35, only 39 percent of its total last year. This is being driven by fewer companies going public (initial public offerings or IPOs) and fewer being acquired. The number of companies going out of business (10) is roughly 50 percent of last year’s number (19). San Francisco’s Clearway Energy Group saw a notable exit in 2022 as the renewable energy products operator sold a controlling stake to French energy giant TotalEnergy SE for $1.6 billion.
At the time of this analysis, no California-based Clean Tech company had gone public in 2022. This appears to be connected to the nation-wide and cross-sector dip in IPOs, which dipped to a five-year low in the first half of the year. The macroenvironment has been less amenable to such exits, as interest rates have increased, and regulatory scrutiny of Special Purpose Administrative Companies (SPACs) has increased.197 The state’s clean tech firms could continue to rely on other exiting strategies if these trends continue.
197 Sara Potter, Factset, 2022. https://insight.factset.com/u.s.-ipo-activity-drops-dramatically-in-the-first-half-of-2022