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 notes) from existing investors. This will often [but note: far from always] mean that the company has either run out of cash sooner than expected, or is having a harder time raising funds than had been expected, so the existing investors (and sometimes some new investors) have passed the hat to quickly put more cash into the company, structured as a loan that will convert into equity when the next full round of equity financing is raised.
So there's some early anecdotal evidence that things are a bit slower out there. But meanwhile, here's a really long list of announced (or scooped) deals from the past week-plus:
- Ice Energy has raised a first $33mm tranche of a Series B financing, led by Energy Capital Partners. Additional project financing could add up to $150mm. Existing investor Second Avenue Partners also participated in the round.
- VentureWire reported that Philadelphia Renewable Energy, an algal biofuels developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of financing led by EnerTech.
- Tesla took in a $40mm convertible debt package, as GTM had mentioned was likely to happen. In a VWire article, Elon Musk confirmed that the company's cash had gotten down to $9mm, but also said that the new financing (provided by most of the existing investor base) is designed to get the company to profitability.
- PE Week Wire reported that Xtalic, a nanomaterials company with corrosion-resistant alloys, has raised an approximately $10mm Series B, from Matrix Partners and North Bridge. The company had previously raised $5.1mm.
- PE Week Wire reported that Miles Electric Vehicles has raised $13mm of a targeted $40mm Series B from the Angeleno Group, which had previously led a $15mm Series A round.
- PE Week Wire also reported that Recapping, Inc. has raised a $500k Series A from Khosla Ventures. It appears to be headed by Khosla Ventures partner Alex Kinnier, who's tasked with cleantech on their team. Not much else has been yet revealed.
- Kleiner, Sherpalo Ventures and Applied Materials have invested $8mm in Indian solar company Kotak Urja Pvt Ltd.
- CalCEF Angel Fund released some details on rounds they participated in, for HID Labs, Allopartis Biotechnologies, and an unnamed 3rd company.
- Kashless, a barter website ("reduce, reuse, recycle", right?) has raised a $5mm Series A led by RRE Ventures. The company was founded by Imperium Renewables founder Martin Tobias.
Other news and notes: A good article on the current status of Israel cleantech
... An interesting article on project finance for clean powergen
... A map of the San Diego cleantech cluster
... An article on investing in water
... And finally, an update from the 8th Annual World Toilet Summit and Expo