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Green-tech investing to outpace Internet in 2008

Investors' attraction to clean tech continues unabated, as they pin success on acquisition exits rather than initial public offerings.

The results of a KPMG survey project continued investment in the green-tech sector this year and a wave of acquisitions.

KPMG is scheduled to publish the results of its annual venture capital survey on Thursday, which show that green-tech investing, already a torrent, will keep flowing.

Twenty-four percent of respondents to the survey said the green tech, or clean tech, area will receive the most capital over the next two years, followed by biotech and pharmaceuticals, attracting 15 percent of respondents. Thirteen percent picked Internet services, and 11 percent said mobile technology.

The results seem to reflect the move by traditional IT and biotech venture capital firms into the clean-tech area over the past three years. The bulk of the respondents said they expect that the level of investment to be the same as 2007 or higher.

Investing in Asia is also projected to increase over the next two years, with China and India being the most attractive destinations.

With so much money going into green tech, observers are expecting that there might be an uptake in mergers and acquisitions, something that investors and entrepreneurs are certainly hoping for as well. Investing in Asia is also projected to increase over the next two years, with China and it being the most attractive destinations.

Ever optimists, more than 80 percent of investors in the survey said they believe that merger-and-acquisition activity will increase. Only 26 percent of respondents think that the number of initial public offerings will increase this year.

Competition among investors is also going up as private-equity firms enter the field typically occupied by VCs, according to a statement by Brian Hughes, a KPMG partner and co-leader of the venture capital practice.