This study contributes to the understanding of the enabling role that venture capitalists can play in bringing new innovative technologies to market, with a focus on clean energy technologies. Applying the structural model introduced by Sørensen (2007) that allows to control for a potential sorting bias, I estimate the in uence of venture capital investor's social capital on startups' funding and exit performance, with social capital defined as the investors' eigencentrality and constraint within the network of investors. Looking at startups' first venture capital funding rounds in California between 2001 and 2019, this study finds a positive and significant in uence of the lead investor's eigencentrality on the funding amount raised and the exit probability of the firm. Furthermore, a less constrained lead investor also increases the chance of the startup's eventual exit. But no differentiated effect for cleantech startups compared to other industries is found.