The cleantech sector may never see investment intensity like it did in 2008 ($7.5 billion in 350 deals), but there's still activity. We also see VCs looking for new ways to invest in the energy economy. Here's a roundup of cleantech venture capital funding over the last few weeks.
Last month we reported on a new $130 million funding round for Bloom Energy. We've since learned the identity of a previously undisclosed investor. It turns out the mystery fuel cell investor was the globe's largest investor-owned electricity utility, E.ON, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, according to FuelCell Today. E.ON already has some fuel cell experience in its work with ceramic fuel cells. Bloom Energy has not installed a system outside of the U.S., according to reports.
Bloom's total funding has passed the $1.1 billion mark, and that makes it one of the all-time leaders in VC funding, along with Fisker and Solyndra. This most recent funding was structured as an "extension to the company's Series G round that originally closed on $150 million in 2011 at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation," as per Fortune. Existing investors include KPCB, NEA, Goldman Sachs, DAG, GSV Capital, Apex Venture Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Madrone Capital, SunBridge Partners, and Advanced Equities.
Mercatus, formerly SCS Renewables, a startup building a solar project credit rating system and database, raised a $2 million round A led by Vision Ridge Partners with Augment Ventures and Shah Capital. Mercatus claims to have assessed more than 3.2 gigawatts of solar projects while facilitating $250 million in investments.
Skyline Innovations, focused on financing and installing solar water heating systems, raised $2 million in mezzanine financing to continue its expansion. Investor CCM US, a Washington, D.C.-based asset management group, led the investment, along with DC Community Ventures, a community development venture capital fund.
Circular Energy, a solar design and installation firm, raised a $2.7M round A from Cypress Capital and other investors, structured as part equity and part royalty debt.
Desalitech, a reverse-osmosis water production and treatment startup, raised $5 million from Liberation Capital, bringing the firm's total funding to $13 million. Liberation Capital is a private equity fund focused on distributed renewable energy, water and wastewater projects.
Solar provider Pure Energies Group raised $5 million in debt financing from Western Technology Investment two months after closing $6 million in VC from NEA and NGEN. Pure Energies acts as an advisor to the homeowner, steering them through the varied array of third-party solar contracts. The startup looks to deliver a credit-qualified, all-in, signed-up customer to one of its solar installer and financier partners. CEO Zbigniew Barwicz told GTM that his partners include five of the top ten installer/financiers -- a list which includes companies such as Sunrun, Sungevity and SolarCity.
Chemical company Voltaix was acquired by Air Liquide. The startup raised $9 million from Novus Energy Partners back in 2009. The materials made by Voltaix are used in semiconductor and photovoltaics manufacturing.