An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2024 PROFILE

Clean Energy Venture
Management LLC

Total Assets Under Management: $100 – 499M
Asset Class: Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 7 – Affordable & Clean Energy
Clean Technology, Alternative Energy & Climate Change
Natural Resources and Conservation

Firm Overview

Category: Venture Capital - Late Stage (Series A/B) - Developed Markets

Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) finances Seed and Series A climate tech startups with a focus on clean energy. CEV leads financings and takes active board roles post-investment. Portfolio companies must - under realistic assumptions - be primarily responsible for mitigating 2.5GtCO2e cumulatively from 2025-2050. With this bar met, CEV has appetite for hardware, software, and a broad range of subsectors and technology types under the clean energy umbrella. In 2005, CEV Managing Directors founded Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG), a 40-person angel network of folks with successful careers in clean energy motivated to invest in the next generation of innovation. CEV and CEVG share deal flow and diligence capabilities. Through CEVG investments and pre-CEV special purpose vehicles, CEV Managing Directors have accrued 15+ years of experience and a market-beating track record even during very tough investment cycles for the broader early stage clean energy investment market. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 5 – 9 years
Total Assets Under Management:
$100 – 499M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 25% – 49%
Investment Thesis:

Climate change is this century's defining problem, energy is a primary cause of climate change, and startups that enable the energy sector to significantly cut greenhouse gases will be instrumental in mitigating climate change and - as a result - grow into some of the world's most valuable companies, financially. 

Investment Overview:

A unique aspect of the Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) diligence process is a continuous, rigorous analysis of whether realistic assumptions enable potential portfolio companies to mitigate at least 2.5GtCO2e from 2025-2050. Integral for informing such analysis is exhaustive evaluation of the quality of the startup’s sustainable competitive advantage and team, as well as the size and dynamics of target markets. Competitive advantage refers to the extent the startup’s offering solves customer challenges relative to alternatives such that the buying decision is a no-brainer. Intellectual property (patents, trade secrets), as well as remarkable teams and networks and traction on exceptionally difficult problems, are examples of what CEV believes can render advantages ‘sustainable,’ meaning competitors would have difficulty copying and commoditizing the startups value proposition. CEV believes that investments in companies with credible sustainable competitive advantage addressing the world’s defining problem leads to strong portfolio impact and financial outcomes.

Company Differentiator:

(1) Track Record/Experience: CEV Managing Directors have 15+ years of experience focused on investing in early stage clean energy companies. Net IRR of the pre-Fund portfolio is 34% with a 3x multiple. While still early, 95% of Fund I portfolio companies are thriving while with multiples on investment over 1x, and some have had significant up rounds. CEV Managing Directors' investments succeeded even during times when the industry overall was faltering, and a low loss ratio is bedrock to this market beating success. (2) Networks: (i) World class Venture and Operating Partners (ex. Nora Brownell, former FERC Commissioner); (ii) Strong focus on building and maintaining relationships with 200+ valued co-investors and sources of deal flow.  (3) Platform: (i) World class capabilities and networks for understanding diverse sciences and industry dynamics; (ii) Employ leadership expert Dialogos to evaluate management teams; (iii) Experienced Director of Marketing supporting early stage portfolio companies.

Investment Example

In late 2020, Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) invested in Nth Cycle, a pre-Seed startup with a novel approach for extracting metals from used batteries and mine tailings. The market need for Nth Cycle is enormous, and they squarely address clean energy and circular economy. Their product could cut costs of battery recycling 90% via a modular, low-capex solution. At the time of investment, they had a standout team, 15-20 reference calls were overwhelmingly positive, and science and traction on their technology were sound. But progress on intellectual property, technology development, and commercial traction were needed for CEV to be fully confident in the company’s sustainable competitive advantage. CEV allocated $500k for the company to achieve milestones in these areas, and then $1.7M afterwards. Nth Cycle has since raised $50M+ in Series A & B capital and have strong momentum. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Impact Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Daniel Goldman – Co-Founder & Managing Director More Info

Daniel Goldman has over 25 years of energy industry experience in strategy, corporate and project finance, and project development, as well as private equity/asset investment and early-stage venture investing. Over the course of his career, Mr. Goldman’s experience has spanned the upstream, mid-stream and downstream oil, gas, coal and power generation sectors of the industry, and since 2000 has included an extensive focus on clean energy asset development and finance, energy efficiency technology development, as well as venture and project investments, both domestically and internationally.

David S. Miller – Co-Founder & Managing Director More Info

David Miller was Executive Managing Director of the Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) between 2005 and 2017. An engineer by training, he brings over twenty years of technology startup management experience and over eighteen years of seed stage investing experience. He has been on the board of directors or advisory board of several clean energy companies, including Boston Materials (currently), Pika Energy (until acquired in April 2019), MyEnergy (until acquired in May 2013), Azima DLI (until Sep 2014), Cambrian Innovation (Advisory Board), and has mentored many others.

Temple Fennell – Co-Founder & Managing Director More Info

Temple Fennell has more than 20 years of experience as an investor and operating executive deploying capital of private investors and family offices in direct investments. Temple founded and operated three companies that were funded by private investors, family offices, and institutional investors (New Enterprise Associates, Oak Investment Partners, Pearson Education and others). Temple most recently served as a full-time strategic advisor for Flagship Ventures, a technology firm that develops technology companies to solve global problems and transform large markets in the energy, water, food and human health sectors.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as people of color:*
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
Less than 25%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as people of color:*
Less than 25%
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Above Market Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
Over-delivered compared to initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Conserving land, oceans, ecosystems and natural resources
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

Integral to the Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) sourcing and diligence processes at the earliest stages - and continued throughout the evaluation - is rigorous modeling on a potential portfolio company's ability to achieve gigaton-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation from 2023-2050. CEV has developed the Simple Emissions Reduction Calculator (SERC), which enables us to quickly screen emissions impact of startups during sourcing. CEV has shared this model to the community, so that other investors can enjoy the benefits. Once engaged in diligence, custom models are built parsing out and evaluating key assumptions that need to be true for a company to achieve gigaton-scale GHG impact. Furthermore, as part of the CEV screening process when sourcing companies, one criteria CEV has institutionalized considering is the diversity of the startup's team. 

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

See the answer to the previous question. 

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Member of Impact Capital Managers
Impact Frontiers Cohort Participant
Implement recommendations from Task Force on Climate Related-Financial Disclosure
Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative
Utilizes standardized impact metrics (e.g. IRIS+, GIIRS, etc.)
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Temple Fennell
Phone: 917-687-2788
Mailing Address:

50 Milk Street, Floor 16, Boston, MA 02109 USA

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