[pagebreak:Funding Roundup: Busiest Firms, Lucrative Tech and Increasing Cash] Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest private-equity, cleantech-investing firm of them all?
The industry may still be too young to assess which firms have the best returns. But a look into last year’s figures reveals which firms did the most cleantech deals.
As Earth2tech pointed out last week, that honor belongs to Good Energies. New Energy Finance, which did the analysis, said Good Energies forked out $100.6 million in 20 deals.
Khosla Ventures came in next with $119 million invested in 18 deals followed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which dropped $78.2 into 14 deals.
But will 2008 change these firms’ standing? Here is a look at the deals made in the past week and the firms gearing up with new funds.
- Europe-based wave-energy developer Orecon Limited grabbed $24 million in its first round of financing. Advent Venture Partners led the financing. Venrock, Wellington Partners and Northzone Ventures also contributed. Orecon said the backing will help build a full-scale, energy-making buoy.
- Pax Streamline, maker of turbines, heating and air-conditioning systems and aerospace technologies, took home an estimated $6 million from Khosla Ventures, according to a Tuesday posting on CNET. The financing, which was formally announced Feb. 29, was part of an undisclosed amount scored in Pax’s first round of financing. The company is expected to grab another $6 million from the venture firm should Pax meet certain business goals, CNET wrote.
- While unveiling its five-seat crossover concept vehicle called Think Ox, Norwegian electric-car company Think Global said it had charged up with a $4 million investment from General Electric last week. That same day, GE also dropped more details on its $20 million investment in battery developer A123Systems (Think Global to Bring Electric Crossover to U.S.).
- San Francisco-based biofuel developer LS9 fueled up on $3 million worth of equipment financing from Leader Ventures, according to Cleantech.com. LS9 is bioengineering organisms to make fuels from materials like sugar cane and cellulosic biomass. The company claims its fuels have higher energy content than ethanol or butanol and have properties that are "essentially indistinguishable" from those of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
- Three-year oldsolarservice provider Standard Solar grabbed $3.5 million from Truecast Capital. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based company said it would use the financing to expand its Washington, D.C.,-area residential and commercial solar business.
- French offset company Eco-Carbone said it raised €2.1 million ($3.2 million) in funding from private equity firm Truffle Capital. Eco-Carbone, which traps methane from coal mines, is the latest in a line of recent carbon-offsetting and trading companies to form or take in funding over the last few months, according to a posting on Greentech Media’s blog Green Light.
- Netanya, Israel-based SolarPower Israel raised $1.1 million from Precede Technologies and Rosenram Development, according to the Globes on Wednesday. The solar integrator -- which mainly distributes Kyocera Corp. panels -- will use the money to expand in Israel and internationally.
- The U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy said Tuesday they will invest up to $18.4 million in 21 biomass projects. The funding is aimed to help companies and research intuitions get over the hurdles of turning biomass into biofuel. Click here for a list of those who got funding and the projects they will work on.
[pagebreak:Funding Roundup: Continued] Funds
- Energy technology firm Altira Group closed its fifth fund at $176 million, according to the Cleantech Investing blog. The fund will focus on traditional and renewable-energy sectors. Altira portfolio companies include Evolutionary Genomics, an agricultural tech company working to increase biofuel feedstocks, and energy-management company GridPoint, which announced in September it had raised $32 million as part of its fourth round of funding.
- London-based Environmental Technologies Fund said it had closed its first fund at £110 million ($221 million). Investors included Swiss Re and The European Investment Fund. The Environmental Technologies Fund said it plans on investing across various cleantech sectors including energy storage, emissions reduction, renewable energy, water and recycling. Currently, the fund has two companies listed in its online portfolio: Metalysis, a company working on producing specialty metals using a lower environmental impact process when compared to traditional methods, and Perpetuum, a company working on vibration energy-harvesting devices.
- Lightspeed Venture Partners is attempting to pull in $675 million for its eighth fund, according to Venture Wire. Portfolio companies include Greentech Media and biofuel developer LS9.