Recent Posts:

Looking at the numbers

Rob Day: February 27, 2007, 12:18 AM

Ernst & Young/ Dow Jones VentureOne today released their 2006 totals for cleantech venture investments [2/27 update: link to PR here], and the results (illustrated above) confirm the trend of overall strong growth. They counted $1.3B in investments in the US, Europe, Israel and China, with 140 transactions.

They didn't break the dealflow down by sector in their public release, but they did cover a broad definition of cleantech. In the US, they counted 87 financings, with the total of $883mm. Interestingly, cleantech venture investments in China took a big leap, from $7mm in 2004 to $220mm in 2006.

As we've discussed before, counting cleantech investments is tricky. Alert readers...

2007 Cleantech Venture Forum recap

Rob Day: February 26, 2007, 6:52 PM
We were lucky to have Matt Horton, a colleague at @Ventures, agree to write up his reflections on last week's Cleantech Venture Forum:

This week saw another successful Cleantech Forum in San Francisco. Attendance was rumored to be over 800, serving as another obvious indicator of growing interest in the sector. While the Cleantech Forum is still the premier cleantech networking event, the ratio of check-writers to other interested parties is on the decline. Here are a few of the highlights from the week:

Company presentations – There were a total of 18 companies that presented at this conference in rapid-fire succession, each company was only allotted 5 minutes to present....

Altra, H2Oil, BPL Global, Imperium, and other news

Rob Day: February 20, 2007, 5:49 PM
  • Jonathan Shieber of VentureWire reported yesterday that ethanol production startup Altra has increased the size of its Series B investment another $63mm, up to $183mm. The additional capital will be used to accelerate construction of the firm's three new plants, which we discussed at the time of the last mention back in August. Another quasi-venture/ quasi-project finance round (...and keep reading a few items below).

The rise of online green media

Rob Day: February 18, 2007, 10:32 AM
With the rise in general public interest in issues like climate change, alternative energy, green purchasing, etc., it's no surprise that investors are starting to look for ways to tap into this trend. In many ways, they are following the rise of green marketing, as large consumer products companies and others increasingly vie for the dollars of consumers who want to direct their purchasing toward more environmentally-friendly products and services -- where the ad dollars go, investors will follow.

For many investors, online media models are something with which they have some familiarity, so online green media and green purchasing tools have been getting some VC attention lately (as...

Targeted Growth, EoPlex and other news

Rob Day: February 12, 2007, 6:19 PM
  • Targeted Growth, which is pursuing genetic enhancement of biofuels feedstocks, announced a $22.3mm Series D. The company claims their approach can increase yields by 20%. Capricorn Management and AllianceBernstein led the round, and GrowthWorks Canadian Fund, Integra Ventures, WRF Capital, and Investment Saskatchewan also participated.
  • An advanced materials company, EoPlex, announced an $8mm Series C, led by ATA Ventures. DFJ, Labrador Ventures, and Draper-Richards also participated. The company's 3D ceramic-metal miniaturized devices have energy-related applications, such as fuel cell reformers, self-powered sensors, LEDs, and others.
Other news and notes: Vinod is moving --...

Bright Source, Zolo, and others

Rob Day: February 8, 2007, 3:31 AM
  • Bright Source Energy, a solar concentrator startup aimed at centralized (ie: for wholesale power, not rooftops) generation, using high temp solar thermal, raised "under $50mm" led by DFJ and the JP Morgan Bay Area Equity Fund. Previous investor VantagePoint (where CEO John Woolard was an EIR prior to joining the company) also participated. Jonathan Shieber of VentureWire wrote a useful description of the company's processes that is worth checking out -- he points out that Bright Source's hybrid approach (which uses a gas-fired turbine in addition to solar concentration) allows for the production of energy on cloudy days as well. Shieber writes that the company already has a 500MW...