Recent Posts:

Reader feedback:  What value-add?

Rob Day: March 27, 2008, 8:53 AM
I received an email from a frustrated colleague in financial services the other day, and with his permission I thought readers might find it interesting to take a look at some of what he had to say:
99% of VC’s are looking for the same thing...a later stage company where they can get lucky with a near-term liquidity event at an inflated price without doing a lot of work.  I do appreciate the drivers for this reality:  VC’s are typically woefully understaffed and are usually  managing more money than they can effectively put out unless they participate as relatively passive players in bigger deals where they can ride the coattails of others.  The key limiting factor is...

Will soot improve the prospects of cleantech efforts in the developing world?

Rob Day: March 27, 2008, 8:19 AM
It was fascinating to see this new study come out, suggesting that soot from deforestation, home cooking fires, coal-fired power, etc., has a significant role to play in climate change.  What was particularly important as a takeaway was that soot is more readily addressable as a near-term climate change driver. We all see entrepreneurial efforts to get cleaner-burning fuels and equipment implemented across developing economies -- in the last few months I've seen plans for solar cooking stoves, rice husk-fired generators, and microbial fuel cells, all with the idea of bringing electricity and heat to various developing regions, while minimizing the use of "dirty" biomass fuels more...

More on the economic turmoil and cleantech

Rob Day: March 20, 2008, 8:10 AM
A couple of months back we discussed the potential impacts on cleantech venture capital from a possible recession. Since then that "possible" recession now seems to be hitting in full force, with a lot of pessimism out there at the highest (well, not the VERY highest) levels. So does that mean the picture's gotten clearer for those in cleantech venture capital? Nope. If anything, opinions are even more widely cast at this point, showing that no one really knows anything. In the past few days, we've seen arguments all over the map. Here's a column which argues that green technology could be recession-proof. Then there's consultant Rob Enderle, whom I heard this morning on NPR,...

Oorja, Range Fuels, Luminus Devices, RecycleBank and others

Rob Day: March 18, 2008, 4:44 AM
  • Jonathan Shieber at VentureWire reported this week that cellulosic ethanol producer Range Fuels has raised $100mm.  Khosla Ventures put in $25mm, and another investor led the round with another $25mm, with the rest of the funders not noted.  This round size suggests that the post-money valuation these investors put...

Cleantech is in a “virtuous cycle”

Rob Day: March 11, 2008, 4:47 PM
It’s business plan contest season, and many of us cleantech VCs have been enlisted as judges for the various events. I’ve had the pleasure of being a judge for numerous contests over several years now, and so these events become an interesting yardstick for measuring developments in the industry at the company formation level. Certainly, we already know that VCs are getting more active in cleantech. And large companies as well. What’s very encouraging is that, if these contests and other anecdotal evidence are any indication, entrepreneurs are also increasingly drawn to the sector. There’s a virtuous cycle that appears to happen in any venture capital investment sector...

Cleantech Venture Forum wrap-up and other news

Rob Day: March 5, 2008, 6:40 PM
Thanks much to Eric W. for filling in while I was off the grid for over a week -- I hereby BOTH denounce AND reject his "snark"...  but hope everyone enjoyed it. Also regrettably missed the Cleantech Venture Forum out in San Francisco last week, which sounds like it was a pretty good one.   Some media coverage on major developments at the event: Deals...