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Investments in the Swedish Cleantech Sector: A Case Study of Swedish Public and Private Venture Capital Investments in Cleantech
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The ever-growing awareness of sustainable living brings us to Cleantech - a technology that aims to reduce pollution and enhance efficiency by developing environmentally friendly products and services. Investors nowadays claim they are moving towards investments incorporating CSR and ESG issues, which is closely connected to Cleantech investments.

As a growing sector, the most concerning issue is the financing. Since Cleantech was introduced around 2006, the market has seen investors with different profiles. Among them venture capitalists (VC) have played a vital role in supporting Cleantech growth. It is noticeable that state-owned VCs, together with private VCs, have been actively participating in Swedish Cleantech investments. This study sets out to evaluate how public VCs differ from private VCs in terms of investment strategies, in Swedish Cleantech context. The results of the study aim to give an understanding of roles of different VCs in investment evaluations, which affect the decision making of their Cleantech investments.

Through Cleantech Scandinavia’s database we have collected information regarding previous investments made in Swedish Cleantech between 2007 and 2011. The results showed that public VCs and private VCs had similar stage preferences, focusing at seed and commercialization stages with little touch on expansion stages. The co-investing activities were mainly targeted at energy related segments in Cleantech. Based on this rough understating about Swedish Cleantech investments we conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 VCs, both public and private, to gain a deeper understanding on their investment strategies. We found that the difference between public and private VCs lies merely in the sense that public VCs operates under governmental guidelines, which they have to comply with when making an investment decision. The majority of the public VCs must co-invest with private investors, which opens a door for private VCs seeking co-financing for Cleantech projects. Particularly public VCs with a regional focus work under both local governments’ and EU’s regulations, which make them restricted to some degree. On the contrary private VCs have the freedom to decide whatever they want under different circumstances. Apart from that, public and private VCs share a great deal of similarities in their investment strategies and evaluations in Cleantech investments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Venture Capital, private, public, Cleantech, investment strategy, evaluation, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81850OAI: diva2:659215
External cooperation
Educational program
International Business Program
Available from: 2013-10-30 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2013-10-30Bibliographically approved

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