NW Energy Angels invested close to $4.7M in 2012

The Northwest Energy Angels had a record investment year in 2012.

The Northwest Energy Angels had a record investment year in 2012. 

Regional investment network Northwest Energy Angels announced Tuesday that the group invested $4,696,500 in 15 cleantech companies in 2012 — the biggest investment year since the group was founded in 2006.

Sustainable Business Oregon reported last May that the Seattle-based angel investment group put a total of $6.3 million in 34 companies since 2006.

In 2012, Northwest Energy Angels backed eight new investments and made follow-on commitments to seven companies. The companies were based in Oregon, California and Maryland. The group also saw a successful exit by one of its earlier investments, Portland-based Virticus, which was purchased by LSI Industries Inc.

The group's eight new investments were made in:

Officials at the angel group pointed out that their record year came in the midst of a slowdown in cleantech investing overall.

"While overall investments in cleantech may have been down, the need to find solutions to climate change has never been greater," said Lars Johansson, co-chair of the Northwest Energy Angels, in a press release. "We will continue to be a unique and valuable resource for clean technology entrepreneurs seeking seed capital for innovative new products and technologies."

The group, made up of some 60 accredited angel investors from across the Northwest region, makes average investments of about $300,000.

With an average investment of approximately $300,000, and several transactions in which NWEA was the lead or a significant investor, the group continues to play a critical role in seeding promising young companies.

"Northwest Energy Angels aims to fill a much needed -- and important -- gap in funding for clean-technology companies," said Ron Pernick, author of Clean Tech Nation, managing director of Portland-based research firm Clean Edge, and NWEA advisory board member."


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