Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2008 (Revised July 2012)

Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy

by Joseph B. Lassiter III, William A. Sahlman and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


By 2008, a number of the firm's early cleantech investments were showing promise, and the companies were starting to need significantly more money to create the massive scale required in the energy sector. As Khosla thought about the hundreds of millions of dollars required by his portfolio companies, he wondered how he should position his firm at this stage of development. Should Khosla develop a new fund that focused on later-stage investments? Should he seek investments from large industry players such as the major oil companies? Should he try raising money from the managers of the sovereign funds in countries such as Singapore, Kuwait, and China? How should the firm work with its strategic partners? Khosla knew that lining up enough later stage funding would be challenging, as the cleantech industry was still unproven for investors. Nevertheless, he was determined to continue his pattern of making bold investments in this emerging field.

Keywords: entrepreneurial marketing; entrepreneurial finance; New Product Development; partnerships; entrepreneurial management; Venture Capital; Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Renewable Energy; Entrepreneurship; Investment Funds; Environmental Sustainability; Product Development; Biotechnology Industry; Financial Services Industry;


Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 809-004, September 2008. (Revised July 2012.)