RockPort Feels Pain from Betting Big on Solyndra, Going ‘All In’ on Cleantech

(Reuters) – David Prend is one of the most respected investors in green technology — but even he picks some losers.

Like the Department of Energy, Prend thought Solyndra, an innovative solar company, was a good bet. His venture capital firm, RockPort Capital, began investing in the company three years before the federal government gave the startup a loan guarantee. RockPort eventually put more than $63.5 million into Solyndra.

As revealed in emails released by the White House, Prend, who sat on the company’s board, also touted the company to President Barack Obama’s staff as a stellar example of green job creation and urged the president to visit its California plant.

But the Solyndra bet went bad — for Prend, the DOE, and other investors such as Henry Kravis and Richard Branson. That’s not so unusual in the field of green tech. A closer look at Prend’s portfolio …

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