Silver Lake Kraftwerk Managing Director Adam Grosser is still hush-hush about the size of the expansion stage cleantech fund he is putting together.
But other details of Grosser’s organization are coming together, including that he will have a total of six investment partners, with two of the slots yet unfilled.
The new fund will also have a support staff of 20 and will open its Shanghai office at the same time as its Silicon Valley office to underscore its global approach.
And billionaire investor George Soros has made a multi-fund commitment to Kraftwerk that could last as long as 15 years.
Grosser (pictured) spoke publicly about his new endeavor for the first time at the GreenNet conference in San Francisco on Thursday. He said the fund will seek opportunities to put growth capital to work with companies that are close to self sustaining but that need cash and advice to achieve stronger market positions.
“It’s time to anoint the winners” in cleantech, he said.
Grosser said his partners include Cathy Zoi, formerly the Obama administration’s acting under-secretary for energy and assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Department of Energy; Raj Atluru, formerly of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Martin Fichtner, formerly of Elevation Partners.
Steffan Tomlinson, former chief financial officer of Aruba Networks, is also a member of the staff.
Grosser, formerly of Foundation Capital, said venture investors initially approached green tech with naivety, pouring $50 billion into companies over the past decade, sometimes with little payback.
“Lots of venture money got spent on academic science projects,” he said.
But the experience is finally starting to pay off. “We think this is the cusp of the second great energy transformation,” said Grosser. The first transformation was the introduction of fossil fuels, such as oil, during the industrial revolution.
Grosser continues to find attractive investment opportunities in smart grid companies. “We think there are some holes that need to be filled,” he said, pointing to products that enable applications to run or that provide interfaces to legacy applications.
Look for more detail from Silver Lake Kraftwerks – including fund size – in the next month or so.