2016 was a record year for Element 8: we invested $6.1 million in 27 clean-tech companies. While there was widespread concern about the future of the clean technology industry in late 2016, this announcement reflects not only our commitment to the sector going forward, but also the sector’s great promise. As Element 8 co-chair, Eric Berman, explains it, the amount of funding “reflects the strength of new and follow-on investment opportunities across the clean-tech sector.”
Yet the amount of funding also reflects innovative new mechanisms for investment that we here at Element 8 have offered our members. Broken down, in addition to the $5 million that was invested directly by Element 8 members, $600,000+ was invested as equity through syndication in angel-only crowdfunding platforms, and $550,000 was invested by the Element 8 Fund. One of the things that we take pride in is our ability to provide our members with access to quality deal flow and the tools for making successful investments and investment decisions, as well as opportunities to diversify their portfolios at lower levels of financial commitment. 2016 marked a year not only of record investments, but one that highlighted our constant innovation in the clean-tech investment space.
The companies in which we invested span a wide range of technologies, industries and business models. And investments were notably a mix of first-time investments and follow-on investments, indicating that many companies in which we have invested in the past are thriving, while many new impressive ideas continue to pop up. First-time investments during 2016 included: Arcadia Power, Beta Hatch, Cadenza Innovation, Evrnu, LaserMotive, LevelTen Energy, Omnidian, Pick My Solar, Retrolux, Sealed and SMASHsolar. Follow-on investments include: Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies, Apana, Axiom Exergy, ConnectDER, EnergySavvy, Energy Storage Systems, Fledge, Green Canopy Homes (and associated funds), Indow, OndaVia, OneEnergy Renewables, Oscilla Power, SparkFund, TBF Environmental Technologies and WISErg.
2016 was a truly successful year here at Element 8 and we are excited to see where those investments will lead. But we also now look forward to 2017 with great excitement for the many new cleantech investment opportunities that it will bring.