Recent Posts:

Miasole, Consumer Powerline, and 212 Resources

Rob Day: September 27, 2007, 8:17 AM
Just a few quick notes while traveling on some of the big news items this week:
  • Amidst a lot of recent talk about the impacts of the ongoing polysilicon shortage, high-profile CIGS thin film panel manufacturer Miasole has apparently started recognizing revenues from shipped product, and also raised a Series D round of financing of somewhere in the neighborhood of $50mm, according to VentureWire (GTM wrote up a blurb here).  New investors (apparently there were six) were not disclosed, but previous investors also participated.  The various CIGS manufacturers have been making noise about forward progress for some time now, but this would be one of the bigger pieces of concrete...

More info on the NEF European cleantech returns study

Rob Day: September 21, 2007, 7:51 AM
As promised, we asked the smart team at New Energy Finance to provide a bit more information about their returns study that we mentioned earlier in the week. Michael Liebreich, Chairman and CEO at NEF, was kind enough to provide some additional explanation of their methodology, for those interested: "Hi, Rob - Your calculations are correct: the group has put in EUR 283.6m into 129 portfolio companies. It has had exits totaling EUR 390.4m. It is sitting on unrealized value of EUR 339.0m. Total value = EUR 729.4m. The unrealized holdings have indeed been held at book unless there has been a revaluation event. So we have the following: · 53 of the portfolio companies are held at...

GreatPoint, Amyris, and other news

Rob Day: September 21, 2007, 7:42 AM
The big news today is GreatPoint Energy's big financing, as has been reported by VentureWire, PE Hub and others (Earth2Tech has a blurb here). As reported by Jonathan Shieber at VWire, the $100mm round has been led by new strategic investors Citi Sustainable Development Investments and Dow Chemical. Other strategic investors AES and Suncor Energy also participated, along with previous investors (which could therefore include ATV, Kleiner, Khosla, DFJ, and the founders' own GreatPoint Ventures, from a previous $37mm round). It's a great example of how interested venture investors and energy giants are in the potential for coal gasification technologies. Other deals:
  • Biofuel...

European cleantech VCs see 50% IRRs?

Rob Day: September 18, 2007, 5:55 PM
That's the conclusion of New Energy Finance in a new analysis they released today. They studied 129 clean energy investments in Europe by 37 investors and found 15 IPOs, 10 trade sales, 21 up rounds, 19 down rounds or write-downs, and 10 liquidations. All told, they estimated a 54.9% gross annualized return across the portfolio of 129 companies. The study period covered 1998 to the present, and included an estimate of 1.2x valuation on unrealized gains on funds invested. It's a very positive study, certainly, and helps further illustrate why investors are so keen on this sector right now. It's also a very useful analysis -- but it's important to note a lot of caveats involved....

Boston keeps heating up

Rob Day: September 13, 2007, 7:15 PM
It's getting to be tough to keep up with all the New England cleantech cluster-building efforts. The latest REBN-East event in Boston was this past week, and was the biggest one yet. A huge crowd showed up to talk renewables, trade business cards, and enjoy the generous hospitality of Foley Hoag -- sponsors and hosts of the event. Dan Primack even showed up... The REBN event took part right on the heels of an MIT Enterprise Forum Energy Special Interest Group panel session that also got a good crowd... good collaborative cross-pollination is what is really driving the regional cleantech cluster efforts right now. And then last night NEEIC held another very enjoyable regional...

Q2:  $1.7B in cleantech IPOs

Rob Day: September 11, 2007, 6:59 PM
Why is cleantech venture capital suddenly the hottest thing since Disco? Because the exits are starting to happen. While M&A remains the dominant exit path for VC exits in this and other sectors, the Cleantech Group's latest figures, there were 17 cleantech IPOs in the second quarter, totaling $1.7 billion in proceeds. That's nearly double the number of IPOs in the first quarter... The Cleantech Group's numbers also showed that North American cleantech venture investments totaled $843mm in the quarter -- about the same as in Q2 2006. The amazing growth in cleantech VC investments appears to have slowed recently. Is it a pause before a second wave? Or is the recent hype covering...

Energy efficient buildings, demand response, and overcoming the barriers

Rob Day: September 7, 2007, 7:04 AM
The best way to make a kilowatt-hour available isn't green power generation. It's to have not used a kilowatt-hour somewhere else in the first place. Energy efficiency is the greenest power source. And it can be among the most lucrative as well... Energy efficient building technologies (mostly lighting, HVAC and controls) have been getting a lot more attention lately, particularly when it comes to automation and general "smart building" approaches (which would include the on-site implementation of demand response-enabling equipment). On this site we've discussed the sector often and described why the economics of many of these technologies can often be quite strong (such as 1 to 2...