New Cleantech Firm Alert: Black Coral Capital

Rob Day, a Boston-area cleantech VC, this morning emailed to announce that he had left @Ventures to become a partner with Black Coral Capital. I called to contribute my congratulations and then asked, “What the hell is Black Coral Capital?”

Day says that Black Coral a new private equity firm focused on cleantech, with a broad investment mandate that could include venture capital, growth equity, project finance, buyouts and indirect investments. It is wholly funded by a family office, but Day declined to name the family or disclose the dollar amount of its commitment.

“Clean energy private equity is still at such an early stage of development that a lot of people are still trying to figure out what works… It’s all in a state of flux,” Day said. “I think we’re in a good creative position because we have solid backing and a lot of flexibility in our investment strategy.”

Day will man Black Coral’s Boston office, while fellow partner Christian Zabbal will work out of Montreal (he previously was a consultant with ghSmart and, before that, McKinsey & Co). The firm also is opening a New York satellite, with staff to be named later.

Expect the first few deals to be indirect (i.e., LP stakes in cleantech funds), with direct investments soon to follow.