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Water notes

Rob Day: August 31, 2005, 5:49 PM
For anyone watching the tragic situation on the gulf coast, the critical need for clean drinking water has been made crystal clear. It reminds us that the role of technology in providing, preserving, repairing and securing water supplies is an important one, as many have recognized (example: see the Sensicore funding announced earlier this week).

While this week's events are dramatic and heartbreaking, they are not isolated. Broader global and national trends on water are just as problematic. Here are some other recent water-related headlines:
Water and wastewater technology has a strong potential role to play in all of the above and many more stories, and in addressing broader water resource and usage trends...

[PS: Another reminder today, donations in support of Katrina relief can be made here.]

Methanotech and Turtle Island Recycling

Rob Day: August 30, 2005, 3:15 PM
  • Per Dan Primack's PE Week Wire, "Methanotech Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based startup focused on producing methanol via 'biological processes,' has raised $500,000 in Series A-1 convertible preferred funding, according to a regulatory filing." Methanotech doesn't appear to have a website up yet that I could find. Dan writes that Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins participated in the round, and that Kleiner itself may or may not have participated (given the stage and amount, I'm guessing not, but I don't know).
  • Finally, our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Katrina. You can make donations to the Red Cross in support of those so devastatingly impacted here.

Sensicore announces $12M Series C

Rob Day: August 29, 2005, 11:17 AM
In water technology news, Sensicore has announced the close of a $12M Series C round. Sensicore has water sensor technology which allows them to monitor a wide range of contaminants and conditions, all on a single chip. Eventually, the company plans to enable their devices to work remotely, and will evolve into more of a broader water information play. It's an intriguing approach that reflects the general merging of sensors, communications and IT systems in a number of clean technology areas.

Ardesta, Firelake Capital, NGEN Partners, Topspin Partners, and Technology Partners participated in the round. All were existing investors from the company's last round back in 2003.

Notes from the week: International Mezzo, Intellon, Intechra

Rob Day: August 26, 2005, 7:00 AM
  • International Mezzo Technologies, which uses nanotechnology to develop efficient heat exchangers, announced a $1M first round of funding earlier this week. Funds were provided by individual investors, Louisiana Fund I, and the Louisiana Technology Fund.
  • More information came out about Intellon's recent Series B, in which Motorola Ventures participated. Now it's been announced that the total round was $24.5M, and was led by BCE Capital (affiliated with Bell Canada), and also included Goldman Sachs, Intel Capital, and existing investors Comcast Interactive Capital, Duchossois TECnology Partners, Enertech Capital, Fidelity Ventures, HydroQuebec CapiTech, Liberty Associated Partners, Philips Venture Capital Fund, TL Ventures and UMC Capital Corporation. The presence of EnerTech Capital among the funders speaks once again to the cleantech (or at least energy-related) aspects of the broadband over powerline technology.
  • Intechra, a recycler and remarketer of computers and other IT equipment, received a $4M Series B led by Chrysalis Ventures, along with existing investors Votum Capital and Clayton Associates. The funding will be used for expansion and acquisitions.
  • Novariant (we've mentioned briefly before) announced the acquisition of Cultiva into Novariant's ag division AutoFarm. The company provides technologies such as GPS and autosteering technologies for the agricultural industry, increasing efficiency of chemicals applications and reducing soil erosion, etc. According to PE Week Wire, "Novariant has raised over $33 million in VC funding from firms like Clearstone Venture Partners, SpaceVest, Marubeni Corp., Kirlan Venture Capital, Arcturus Capital, Pacifica Fund and Yasuda Enterprise Development."