Recent Posts:

Year end thoughts: Why good technologies don’t get funded

Rob Day: December 31, 2005, 6:55 AM
As with the previous year-end thoughts column, this post will depart from the usual relayed news updates to provide one man's conjecture, and thus should be read with a lot of caveats attached...

One common complaint from entrepreneurs is that their compelling technology isn't getting the attention it deserves from the venture community. They have an advantaged technology, a strong management team, and huge market potential -- so why is it proving difficult to raise VC funding?

Amidst all of the increasing capital flowing into cleantech, and talk of finding the "next Google," it's easy to forget that there are some significant differences between many clean technologies and traditional...

Year-end thoughts: Solar and the long tail

Rob Day: December 26, 2005, 2:01 PM
In the next few days we'll try to provide some year-end thoughts on various cleantech investing topics. Importantly, unlike many of the other notes on this site, these are conjecture and opinion and not the usual passed-along news updates, so read them with all due skepticism.

First and foremost, we pretty much have to start with solar.

According to numbers from an AP/ Dow Jones report (with figures from the NVCA), solar VC investments reached $67.7M in the first three quarters of 2005, as compared to $31.4M for all of 2004. The AP and Dow Jones also report that solar made up more than a third of all energy VC investments so far this year. Regardless of the specifics of the numbers,...

Recent articles of interest

Rob Day: December 22, 2005, 10:56 PM
The articles of interest have built up a bit with the time away. Here are some that may be of interest to cleantech investors:
  • Bob Bellemare of Utilipoint provides a succinct overview of the various government subsidies in support of solar power installation, discusses the likelihood of their continuation and their likely evolution, and generally points to continued growth of the industry.
  • MIT Technology Review discusses the efforts Siemens is making toward a vision of ubiquitous sensing, a technology we've discussed here before that is a good example of a cleantech "enabler".
  • The LA Times discussed how the Kyoto Protocol treaty, even if not ratified by the U.S., is still having a...

William McDonough joins VPVP

Rob Day: December 22, 2005, 10:48 PM
William McDonough, who for years has been a thought leader for green and clean technologies in his roles as architect and pundit, is becoming a venture capitalist. According to VantagePoint Venture Partners' website, he has joined the firm as a "Venture Partner." As someone who has been involved in green and clean technologies for many years, I can attest to McDonough's expertise and visibility in the field -- this is a strong addition to the VPVP team. To find out more about his role and outlook, see this interesting transcript.

Catching up: Agrilink, H2O Innovation, Tubel Technologies, XsunX

Rob Day: December 22, 2005, 10:16 PM
Apologies for falling behind a bit lately on the posts, as a new addition to the family has been requiring complete attention in recent days... That hasn't stopped news of various cleantech fundings, however:
  • Agrilink, an Australian developer of automated irrigation systems which optimize water use, announced an A$3M raise from British venture firm WHEB Ventures. The claimed savings reach 50% of water usage. Agrilink's approach is comparable to that of US firm Hydropoint and others.
  • H2O Innovation (TVX: HOI), which is developing clean water technologies, announced the final C$1.55M round of a series of private placements (the prior C$1M round was in November), as well as a recap....

Oxford Catalysts, Ltd. launches, and other news items

Rob Day: December 16, 2005, 7:59 AM
  • Oxford Catalysts, Ltd., announced a GBP500k funding led by IP2IPO Group plc, with additional funding from Top Technology Ventures (also affiliated with IP2IPO), as part of a spin-out from Oxford University. The company's catalyst technology has uses across several energy areas, including the production of hydrogen from waste methane.
  • Here's a good article describing the recent NREL Industry Growth Forum.

Solar still hot: Carmanah and Cyrium announce raises

Rob Day: December 14, 2005, 8:52 AM
  • Carmanah Technologies, an integrator of solar PV and LED lighting for a variety of outdoor lighting solutions, announced a $15M private placement. Carmanah is publicly-traded (on the TSX Venture exchange), and has made acquisitions in the past.
  • Cyrium Technologies, which is developing next generation solar products using nanotechnology (specifically, "quantum dots"), announced a $3M raise led by Pangaea Ventures Fund, with participation from seed funders Chrysalix and BDC.
  • On non-solar matters, for today's amusing see this article in Wired News. Best quote: "Eighty percent or more of the ideas that come directly to us violate the laws of physics..."