Recent Posts:

Angels are more important than you think

Rob Day: November 28, 2008, 11:17 AM
I'm referring, of course, to angel investors -- individual investors who put money into startups, typically at a pretty early stage.  Here on this site, and even more so in the media, the heavy focus is on venture capital inventments from institutional investors.  But that ignores the critical role angels often play in getting the VC-backed startups off the ground in the first place. As the attached Center for Venture Research survey results show (note: link opens pdf), angels are a major player in the financing of entrepreneurs in the U.S.  In the first half of this year, CVR estimates that 23,100 startups received funding totaling over $12B.  Compare this to the $14.9B and...

Remember when?

Rob Day: November 24, 2008, 7:45 AM
Overdue to provide an update on deals and such, but in the meantime I happened to run across this listing of venture capital and angels groups involved in cleantech... Three years ago. A nice, tidy, short list, huh?  Figured I'd rescue it from the memory hole, so I'll also cut and paste the list below. It would pretty much be impossible to do such a list today, when just about everyone at least SAYS they're investing in the sector now. The Energy Priorities list from November 11, 2005:
Firm Focus Web site
Angels with Attitude See Soundpoint Ventures
@Ventures (part of CMGI) 2 clean tech investments; tech focus www.ventures.com
Battery Ventures 2...

Deals from the past week

Rob Day: November 14, 2008, 1:13 PM
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."
  • Silver nanoparticle ink producer NanoMas raised a $3.2mm Series A, with $1.5mm from BASF.  Earthrise Capital Partners and NanoMaterials Investors LLC also participated.

The challenges and hopes for a U.S. carbon trading market

Rob Day: November 7, 2008, 6:10 AM
We've been digging even deeper into carbon trading topics lately, for obvious reasons (self-promotion alert).  And then I had the pleasure of participating on a "cap-and-trade vs. carbon tax" panel yesterday sponsored by the New England Clean Energy Council (and very well executed by Panel Intelligence).  So I thought it might be useful to put down a few thoughts on the subject. Conventional wisdom says that we should be expecting a cap-and-trade scheme sometime during Obama's first term in office.  We discussed this possibility in a post on Wednesday. In thinking about how such a scheme might impact U.S. cleantech startups and investors, it's important to look at the...

Well, that was quick…

Rob Day: November 6, 2008, 4:50 PM
It seemed a couple of weeks ago like there might be a bit of a pause in cleantech VC deals, probably due to the economic crisis. Well, if there was a pause, perhaps it was in the issuance of press releases announcing deals.  Because over the past week or so the deal announcement volume has been off the charts.  Makes sense that companies wouldn't necessarily want to issue press releases when the financial journalists were otherwise occupied, but there's no evidence (yet) that the economic situation has negatively affected cleantech dealflow... ...With one important exception, and that's the evidence that several of the announced deals appear to be bridge loans (ie: convertible...

What it means for U.S. cleantech venture capital

Rob Day: November 5, 2008, 11:08 AM
With the election now behind us and a Democrat-controlled Washington, DC to be installed next year, I thought I'd share some quick non-linear thoughts on what this may mean for cleantech VC.  Just one investor's thoughts, to be taken for whatever they're worth: 1.  Overall, this is probably a very good thing for the U.S. cleantech venture capital industry.  While private equity overall is likely to come under greater scrutiny by policymakers (see below), there seems to be emerging consensus in D.C. that in general cleantech markets, green jobs, and early-stage investors should be supported. With some important caveats (also see below), hard to see many of the likely supportive...

Go vote.

Rob Day: November 3, 2008, 5:05 PM
Stop reading blogs and go to your polling place.  Take a friend. We'll do an update once everyone gets a chance to catch their breath.