Overall, 2007 proved to be a banner year for greentech investment.
According to the first full-year figures by New Energy Finance, clean-energy companies globally pulled in a whopping $117.3 billion in public and private funding in 2007. That's 41 percent more than the $83 billion the London-based research firm tracked in 2006. But will the new year prove as bountiful? Here are the some of the first deals that greentech entrepreneurs have wrapped up in 2008.
- Westborough, Mass., startup Boston-Power, which said it's developed a safer, longer-lasting lithium-ion battery for laptop computers, scored $45 million in its third round of venture funding. The company will use the latest round to boost its manufacturing operations, among other functions. Oak Investment Partners led the funding. Additional investors included Venrock Associates, Granite Global Ventures and Gabriel Venture Partners. Boston-Power has raised a total of $68 million.
- In another battery deal, Fremont, Calif.-based Deeya Energy said it had raised $15 million in a second round of funding. The company, which makes energy-storage systems out of environmentally benign and recyclable material, will use the money for construction of its factory in India as well as research and development. Investors include lead backer New Enterprise Associates, BlueRun Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and DFJ Element. In 2006, Deeya raised about $7.5 million in its first round of venture funding.
- Silicon's shiny properties means it reflects about 30 percent of sunlight back into the sky. And solar companies look to manufacturing techniques and anti-reflective coatings to trap and convert as much of this light into energy. But Oulu, Finland-based Braggone says it has found a way to reduce the cost of such light-trapping technology with a simple spray-coat, bake and repeat process. To help commercialize the company's nano-engineered polymer technology for industries like solar, as well as semiconductor and flat-panel display makers, Braggone bagged a "multimillion-dollar" funding from the National Technology Agency of Finland.
- After filing for a $345 million IPO in May, the new year found biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables delaying its plans for an initial public offering. The company cited unfavorable market conditions for its change of heart. Analysts speculated this might happen after Imperium CEO Martin Tobias stepped down last month (see Imperium CEO Leaves Amid Biofuel Profit Pressures).
- Renewable-energy company GreenHunter Energy made its AMEX debut Wednesday, under the ticker "GRH." The stock opened at $12 per share. Investors liked the Grapevine, Texas-based company, which has wind projects in Montana, New Mexico and California and claims to have the largest biodiesel refinery in the country, enough to push the company's stock up to close at $15.10 per share. Wall Street has calmed its excitement on the stock, which is hovering at $13.49 per share.