Recent Posts:

NGEN’s $180mm, plus GridPoint, BPL Global, and the California Clean Tech Open

Rob Day: September 27, 2006, 9:16 PM
  • GridPoint, the provider of energy storage appliances for the home, announced $21mm in funding, mostly from Goldman Sachs. Also announced was a demand response co-marketing arrangement with Goldman's subsidiary Cogentrix. This could be an indication that Cogentrix is going to be more directly taking on existing demand response players such as Comverge, EnerNOC and ConsumerPowerline -- a fast growing...

The current state of play in energy tech and cleantech investing

Rob Day: September 25, 2006, 2:00 PM
Coming out of last week's Cleantech Venture Forum, it's pretty clear that cleantech (and relatedly energy tech, which is not a 100% overlap, as regular readers of this site will understand) is fast becoming a mainstream investment area for VCs, in part driven by LPs' interest.

In terms of energy technology investing, Rodrigo Prudencio of Nth Power was kind enough recently to share some of the data that his firm is tracking. As part of a recent presentation he gave at Rice University, Rodrigo showed how US energy technology VC investments are at $1.7B so far in 2006 -- compare this with $0.9B for all of 2005, or with the $500mm expected this year in VC investments in Web2.0.

That the...

Cleantech Venture Forum recap

Rob Day: September 24, 2006, 8:06 PM
My colleague at Expansion Capital, Kjartan Jansen, kindly offered to write down his thoughts from the recent Cleantech Venture Forum in NYC. Thanks, KJ!
I had the pleasure of spending the second half of last week at the 14th Cleantech Venture Forum in New York. The group continues to do a terrific job and there was notable excitement among the participants (disclosure: Expansion Capital Partners is an investor in the Cleantech Venture Network).

If I were to summarize the conference in a few sentences, they would be:
  • Cleantech as an investment thesis and asset allocation is now mainstream. Some institutions are still skeptical, but they're becoming rare.
  • More money is coming into the...

"It’s been a very interesting few days"

Rob Day: September 21, 2006, 4:28 PM
There has been a lot of cleantech investing news over the last couple of days:

The ongoing Cleantech Venture Forum (I couldn't be there, but my colleague Kjartan will kindly be "guest blogging" on it; for disclosure, my firm is a sponsor) has prompted a lot of attention and announcements in the industry. First off, the revised announcement by the Cleantech Venture Network that they are forecasting cleantech VC investment totals will be $10B from 2006-2009 in North America (compared with $6.4B from 2003-2006). This at the same time that major institutional investors are saying they've upped their allocations for such technologies, and Kleiner Perkins are saying they're upping their...

Solaria’s $22mm Series B

Rob Day: September 19, 2006, 8:02 PM
Solaria, which is developing concentrating solar panels that use 2-3x less silicon for the same amount of energy, announced a $22mm Series B. The round included NGEN Partners, Sigma, Q-Cells, and Moser Baer. Solaria is anticipating commercial products as early as 2007; their products, although concentrators, will have similar form function to existing PV modules.

Deeya Energy and Tuesday Tidbits

Rob Day: September 19, 2006, 8:26 AM
  • New battery technology developer Deeya Energy has announced a first round of VC funding (amount undisclosed) from Blue Run Ventures, DFJ and DFJ Element. The company claims their technology will provide cheaper batteries with better charge/discharge characteristics. Energy storage remains a critical enabler for a lot of other cleantech applications (think Tesla Motors), as well as a large potential market in its own right.

SolarCity, cleantech investor moves, and other news…

Rob Day: September 15, 2006, 7:38 AM
  • SolarCity, which is developing all-in solar packages for the home (including the solar system, net metering with the grid, and remote monitoring), has raised $10mm in financing led by Elon Musk. Musk will also be taking the Chairman role with the company. It's interesting that net metering is the stated goal, rather than storage, which is another take that other companies such as GridPoint are pursuing. Any other funders besides Musk were undisclosed.
  • A...