Australia's first Clean Energy Seed Fund has exceeded expectations, attracting $26 million in finance, including a $10 million cornerstone commitment from the CEFC through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.
The Seed Fund is managed by Artesian Venture Partners, a specialised investment manager with a diversified portfolio approach to early venture capital investments. Artesian targets both financial and strategic returns for high net worth investors, corporates and institutional investors.
The Clean Energy Seed Fund targets scalable, high growth potential start-ups, encouraging innovation and creating opportunities in the development of clean technology. It will invest in startups at seed stage via dedicated clean energy accelerators such as EnergyLab which is supported by Climate-KIC Australia. The first cohort of EnergyLab startups includes Eveeh, Iron Matrix, Blue Volt and Energy Panda.
The Seed Fund is looking across a range of potential investments, including sectors 'internet of things', energy storage, biofuels, alternative energy generation (solar, wave, geothermal, wind), metering and control, 'green' building and biomaterials, transport technologies, water and waste.
The Clean Energy Seed Fund has achieved registration with Innovation Australia as an early stage venture capital limited partnership (ESVCLP).
Artesian expects the Seed Fund to invest at seed, angel and later-stage follow-on rounds in 30-50 startups over the next four to five years. Projects must be eligible for CEFC finance under the terms of the CEFC Investment Mandate.
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund draws on the finance and skills of the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).