Cleantech venture capitalists were busy in the last week, backing a wide range of green-energy technologies. Solar, fuel-cell, wind and hydro - and even fusion - startups got funding. Led by a big deal for SolFocus, solar startups got the most money. But, with a number of large funds closing lately, including a $103-million fund that Expansion Capital Partners announced Friday, there seems to be plenty to go around.
Here are just a few of the recent deals:
- Ausra, a solar-thermal power startup based in Palo Alto, Calif., announced Monday it has raised more than $40 million in a Series-A round. Investors include Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Ausra's technology uses reflectors to direct sunlight up to water-filled pipes. The sun's heat boils the water, creating steam that is turned into electricity for utilities. Ausra, originally founded in Australia, has projects underway in Australia and in Portugal.
- Solar energy developer SolFocus scored $52 million in a double-barreled deal that included both Series A and B rounds. Madrid-based offshoot SolFocus Europe received an A round of $27.4 million, while the balance went to the parent company SolFocus Inc. as a B round. New Enterprise Associates led both rounds. The same firm had also led the original $32-million Series A round that Mountain View, Calif.,-based SolFocus Inc. scored last year. Also contributing to the financing were Moser Baer India, David Gelbaum, Metasystem Group, NGEN Partners, Yellowstone Capital and others. The European subsidiary will use the money for business development and on a concentrator photovoltaic installation it is helping build in Castilla la Mancha, Spain.
- ClearEdge Power raised $6.47 million as part of a Series C round. According to the PE Week Wire, Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials, is an investor. The fuel-cell company, based in Hillsboro, Ore., last year announced it was working with Applied Materials to develop a low-cost manufacturing process.
- Sierra Nevada Solar closed a $4.5-million Series A round, according to Greentech Media's Venture Power Report. Investors include the Sierra Angels, an angel-investment group, but the lead investor was undisclosed, according to the Report. According to the Alarm:Clock blog, EarthBright also invested in the round.
- Tioga Energy caught an additional $4 million from Nth Power, bringing its total first-round funding to more than $14 million. The renewable-energy company had earlier received funding from other VC firms, including NGEN Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Rockport Capital, along with supporting finance from DFJ Frontier and Kirlan Ventures.
- General Fusion attracted $1.2 million in VC financing to pursue research on fusion reactors using magnetized-target fusion technology. The technology fuses together hydrogen isotopes in seawater to form helium. The company hopes to demonstrate the technology by 2010.
- 3Tier snagged $2 million in its second funding from Good Energies. The company provides wind, solar and hydro energy-assessment services. It also recently launched a Web-based wind-resource-assessment tool. Seattle-based 3Tier said the $2 million is part of a larger financing it intends to complete by the end of the year.
For additional deal flow information, please check the Cleantech Investing blog.
—Greentech Media Editor Jennifer Kho contributed to this story