The Baton is Passed from CleanTech to the Social Mobile Web

Interesting meme racing around the tech blogosphere on this cybermonday: that one of the most respected venture firms, Kleiner Perkins, is switching gears from cleantech to the new social mobile web or whatever it should be called. John still expects some billion-dollar cleantech IPOs next year, but he has been talking up the new sFund and it has sparked speculation about where he sees the next big thing.

CleanTech had a bit of a bubble, and is off the peak, both in values of many deals and in pace of investing. Certainly some deals have done well, in particular Tesla (TSLA), which in recent days has traded up above the levels of the initial pop after IPO. (Note: I have a small indirect interest in Tesla.) Yet there has not been a green IPO that spawned a rush to the category. It has not had its Netscape Moment. As GreenBeat summarizes:

Basically, cleantech needs a facebook

The social mobile web has its Facebook, and its Twitter, Zynga, LinkedIn, Groupon, etc. While many are awaiting for a series of social mobile web IPOs in the next two years, the market has already treated Facebook private shares like IPO candy. SecondMarket reports that Facebook shares are now trading at $50B market value. This makes it worth more than Yahoo (YHOO) or eBay (EBAY), closing in on Amazon (AMZN) ($80B), and within 1/4th of Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG).

John may be a bit wistful, having so strongly promoted the sFund he has cast a shadow on his cleantech investing. We can see where this is going with a recent funding round of his firm and Accel partners (who just made a killing selling Facebook shares) into an energy efficiency deal, OPower, a deal that crosses over between the Internet and cleantech.

Where John leads, we should not be afraid to follow. The SuperAngel phenom has now crossed over itself into mainstream venture capital. The game is on! The next tech boom is emerging,

About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

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