FCF CleanTech Venture Capital Report

The ‘FCF DeepTech Series’ is a quarterly series of reports tracking European venture capital funding trends within four main DeepTech verticals. We highlight deal counts, volumes, investor interests, subsector trends, geographic hotspots, IPO activity as well as M&A / trade sale activity. Each quarter one of the four verticals – CleanTech, Advanced Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Robotics – is examined individually.

Each report is a quick reference for investors, corporates and professionals for the funding trends within the respective vertical.


This edition of the inaugural ‘FCF DeepTech Series’ focuses on VC funding developments within the European CleanTech vertical. The European CleanTech vertical has been split into five main subsectors:

  •  Alternative Fuels & Materials
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation
  • Energy Storage
  • Recycling, Waste & Environment

Key Findings:

After two slow years (2017 & 2018) 2019 is a very strong year for European CleanTech investments. With €877m investment volume by the end of Q3 2019, deal volume exceeds even full year volumes of the previous years. 2019 was a year of bigger deals, as the high deal volume was achieved with fewer deals. Driven by mega deals such as Energy Vault (energy stroage) and Oxford PV (energy generation) the average volume of deals increased significantly in 2019.

Germany is not the leading country for CleanTech investments. UK takes the lead with 173 deals in the observed 3 year period (January 2016 to October 2019), outpacing France (119 deals) and Germany (108 deals). Comparing volumes, UK’s lead is even more pronounced with a cumulated deal volume of €643m vs. €459m in Germany.

The majority of investors is Europe based. Although Softbank is the biggest single investor, this is a one off due to one single Mega Deal (Energy Vault). It can be observed that either European CleanTech companies do not require investors from outside Europe or are not attractive enough for such investors

IPO is not the main exit route. With only 13 IPOs in 5 years, the IPO is not the main exit option for CleanTech companies.

Trade sales is the main exit route for CleanTech companies with 81 trade sales in the last 5 years. Again European buyers dominate with only few companies acquired by non-European players.

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