Recent Posts:

Advanced Glazings, and other news

Rob Day: April 30, 2006, 6:56 PM
  • A couple of good general cleantech articles recently worth noting: First, see this column by Peter Fusaro, aimed primarily at the mainstream utility industry. It's a fairly optimistic take on the cleantech movement. Next, there's this CNN.com article, which provides a more sober take, specifically from the VC's perspective. Both are worth checking out.
  • Always thought-provoking, Joel Makower opines here on the emergence...

Fat Spaniel, a World Bank clean energy VC group, and CA Cleantech Open get-together

Rob Day: April 24, 2006, 7:41 PM
  • Buried in this article about the World Bank is a mention of the organization potentially starting up a venture capital group to invest in clean energy technologies. If the CIA and US Army can start up VC groups, why not the World Bank?
  • If you're in the Bay Area this coming Thursday, the CA Clean Tech Open's technologist/ entrepreneur "matching event" should be a fun happening. PS: Since the link got put up, the location has been finalized -- SRI International's...

Happy Earth Day!

Rob Day: April 22, 2006, 2:36 PM
Happy Earth Day, everyone. It's a good day to sit back and enjoy some of the latest stories of interest to come across the wires, starting with a couple of recent deals to note:
  • Targeted Growth, a Seattle bioagricultural company that is developing "gene enhancements" that increase yields for various biofuel crops, has apparently raised $10mm recently, according to this column. The total investment in the company to date is $15mm, and among the investors so far are Investment Saskatchewan and GrowthWorks. Increasing yields by 20%, as is talked about by the company, would significantly improve costs for biofuels.

Miartech and Smart Fuel Cell

Rob Day: April 19, 2006, 12:49 PM
  • Miartech, a Shanghai company which appears to be designing energy demand response capabilities into semiconductors intended for consumer products, raised $6mm in first-round funding from DFJ, DFJ DragonFund, and DFJ Element. It's interesting to see DFJ leveraging all three entities on the same deal.
  • German methanol-fueled fuel cell developer Smart Fuel Cell (say that three times real fast) announced a 15mm euro raise from "several renowned European institutional funders." The company's fuel cells are being used so far as auxiliary power on a line of motor homes, and are targeting a broad range of transportation and battery-replacement applications. The company had previously raised...

Tuesday links

Rob Day: April 18, 2006, 8:45 AM

Zinc Matrix, ESS and Cornell Capital

Rob Day: April 17, 2006, 6:35 AM
  • Zinc Matrix Power last week announced a $7mm round of financing. Existing investors Intel Capital also participated, alongside an unnamed "private equity" group which may or may not have been a new investor, it's unclear. OnPoint Technologies, which led the company's $9mm October 2004 prior round, didn't participate in this current round. Red Herring has a very good discussion of the company's technology and future plans.
  • ESS, which offers software for corporate EH&S departments, announced an $8mm round of financing, led by Grayhawk Venture Partners and DCA Capital Partners. Unnamed existing investors also participated. The company's software helps companies track compliance with...

Some thoughts on today’s PE Week Wire

Rob Day: April 13, 2006, 9:38 AM
Dan Primack (the mastermind of the mandatory daily reading, PE Week Wire) had some interesting comments today, regarding a cleantech b-plan contest he judged yesterday:

On Tuesday night I helped judge the semi-finals of a clean-tech business plan competition up in Lowell. Almost all of it was off-the-record, but a few quick observations:

* Lowell is home to Konarka, a VC-backed company that makes flexible photovoltaic materials (particularly for military use). Listening to clean-techies talk about Konarka is like listening to Web 2.0 disciples discuss Google, except without the malevolent envy. It seems that almost every photovoltaic b-plan was viewed through the Konarka lens....