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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Green Economy > Green Market Opportunities

Khosla Ventures' Green Fund Tops $1 Billion

It's reassuring to see that Calpers, California Public Employees, are investing in reinvigorating the state's economy by investing in cutting edge clean technology companies.

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Khosla Ventures, the firm Vinod Khosla founded in 2004 after leaving Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is announcing that it has raised $1.1 billion in two funds that will invest in green technology and information technology start-ups.

$2 million Early-Stage Ideas and $5-$15 million

Khosla Ventures will make initial investments of $5 million to $15 million from its main $800 million fund. The smaller $275 million fund will seed very early-stage ideas with investments of around $2 million geared toward science experiments.

Harnessing technology to address climate change will require the big risks that venture capitalists were once known for, he said. "We’re really about reinventing the infrastructure of society, which is the only way we’ll get the carbon footprint down, and we’re not afraid to fail."

Mr. Khosla said the notion that clean tech companies were too capital-intensive for venture capital was a myth. A start-up needs only a few million dollars to prove that its technology works, he said. If it does, it will attract interest from investors and big companies that may want to license the technology.

“We insisted on being in a fund like that,” said Joncarlo Mark, head of private equity investing for Calpers, the California Public Employees Retirement System fund, which invested $60 million in Mr. Khosla’s riskier small fund and $200 million in the big fund. “The opportunity to partner with Vinod in his science experiments to us is as attractive as having a later-stage fund investing in more established businesses.”

Read more in the New York Times

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