Part 1 covered January VC investment in solar, energy storage and transportation. Today's list, Part 2, covers the smart grid, biofuels, energy efficiency, water and more.

U.S. venture capital investments in greentech totaled $3.7 billion in 2010, according to the MoneyTree Report based on data from Thomson Reuters. The global number was $7.8 billion, according to the Cleantech Group although that group's numbers tend to run high due to a liberal definition of what constitutes cleantech. Having tracked those numbers myself for many years, I have learned not to interpret strong VC numbers as a proxy for a healthy greentech industry.

In any case, if the first month of this year is any indication, and it most likely is not, the greentech VC train is picking up steam with almost $1 billion worth of green VC deals in the month of January.

VC Investment in Biofuels and Next Generation Fuels

Fulcrum BioEnergy (Pleasanton, California), a next-generation ethanol producer, raised $75 million in Round C funding from Rustic Canyon Partners, U.S. Renewables Group, et al. 

Qteros (Marlborough, Mass.), a biofuels technology startup with a microbe that accelerates biomass conversion to ethanol, secured $22 million in the first phase of its Round C from Battery Ventures, Venrock Associates, BP Technology Ventures, Valero and Soros Fund Management.

BlueFire Renewables (Irvine, Calif.) received $10 million from Lincoln Park Capital.  Bluefire uses Concentrated Acid Hydrolysis to transform cellulose to ethanol using wood wastes, urban trash (post-sorted MSW), rice and wheat straws, and other agricultural residues.

Woodland Biofuels (Mississauga, Ontario) raised $12 million from the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund (OETF), Investeco Capital, and David LeGresley, former Vice-Chairman of National Bank Financial, to build a demonstration plant that will produce cellulosic ethanol from renewable wastes.

Mascoma (Lebanon, New Hampshire) received up to $50 million from oil refiner Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) for building out Mascoma's cellulosic ethanol technology.

Fermentalg (Libourne, France) received a $7.2 million Round B from Emertec Gestion, Demeter Partners and ACE Management for aphotic micro-algae production.

Ciris Energy, biochemically converting coal to methane, won a B round of venture capital from Khosla Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Rho Ventures, and GE Energy Financial Services.

AllGreen Energy (Bangalore, India) secured Round A venture funding from GE and Reliance Venture Asset Management for electricity generation from biomass.

VC Investment in Smart Grid, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Viridity Energy raised an undisclosed Round B led by Braemar Energy, Intel Capital -- an energy resource management firm building a real-time dynamic demand management platform.

Energy Savvy (Seattle, Washington) raised $1.1 million from Northwest Energy Angels, et al. The startup builds software systems that integrate with utility and government energy efficiency programs.

Scientific Conservation (San Francisco, Calif.) (SCI), a maker of web-based software that helps building managers monitor and control energy usage and predictive diagnostics and analytics for commercial buildings, received $15.65 million in Round B funding from DFJ Growth Fund, DFJ Ventures and The Westly Group.      

Sustainability Roundtable (Cambridge, Mass.) providing shared-cost research and consulting for sustainable facilities, secured $1.2 million in Round A financing led by Navitas Capital with the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund (MGEF).

Raritan (Somerset, New Jersey), a power management business that helps firms improve energy efficiency and operations in data centers, raised an undisclosed amount from NewSpring Growth Capital.  

Kleiner and TCV made a $135 million investment into OSIsoft, a developer of data management solutions for industrial energy efficiency applications.   

VC Investment in Green Materials and Water

Novacem (London, England) raised $2.6 million in follow-on funding from Laing O’Rourke, Imperial Innovations, the London Technology Fund, and the Royal Society Enterprise Fund. Novacem claims it is "the carbon negative cement company" with technology based on magnesium oxide.  

Clean Membranes (Lexington, Mass.), a startup focused on non-fouling membranes for water purification, raised an undisclosed Round A from Morningside Venture Investments.

VC Investment in Wind Power and Hydro

Wind Power Holdings (Barre, Vermont), the parent company of wind turbine developer Northern Power Systems, received $12.7 million from a number of investors according to a document filed with the SEC.

Hydrovolts (Seattle, Washington), raised $450,000 to close its Round A. The firm builds hydropower turbines able to generate electricity from small streams and canals.


Luxim raised $22.2 million from Sequoia Capital, Crosslink Ventures and DAG Ventures for solid state light emitting plasma illumination.

GridPoint (Arlington, Virginia) raised an additional $23.6 million, according to an SEC filing, bringing the firm’s total venture financing to over $240 million. Confusingly, their latest effort describes them as a solar developer.
DevonWay (San Francisco, California), a provider of SaaS-based solutions for the nuclear power industry, raised an undisclosed amount of Round C funding led by Crosslink Capital.