Two investment firms associated with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore announced they had raised money for new funds in the last week (see Earth2Tech post).
London-based Generation Investment Management closed its $683 billion Climate Solutions Fund, which will invest in both public and private companies to combat climate change, according to Private Equity HUB on Wednesday. Gore is the chairman and a founding partner at the firm.
And Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, which took Gore on as a partner in November, officially announced it had raised $500 million for its Green Growth Fund, which is focused on funding “growth-phase” climate-change solutions, as well as $700 million for its KPCB XIII fund, which will invest in cleantech, information-technology and life-science startups (see VentureBeat post).
The news that the firm was raising “more than $400 million” for its green fund leaked out last month (see Funding Roundup: Solar, Transportation and Wind).
As companies like Kleiner Perkins and Generation Investment reload, here are some of the deals that fired away in the past week:
- Solar installer SunRay Renewable Energy last week announced a strategic partnership with Denham Capital Management. The private-equity firm said it would dole out $200 million for Malta-based SunRay to develop more than 300 megawatts of solar projects in Europe and the Mediterranean during the next four years
- Thin-film solar developer Sunovia Energy Technologies said Wednesday it had closed a $12 million funding round. The bulletin-board-traded company, based in Sarasota, Fla., will use part of the funding to build a manufacturing plant for its cadmium-telluride films. Sunovia did not disclose its investors.
- Concentrating solar-thermal developer SkyFuel said last week it had closed a $17 million second round of funding. Leaf Clean Energy Co., which trades on the Alternative Investment Market in London, led the round. Albuquerque, N.M.-based SkyFuel plans to use the cash to commercialize its technology, which incorporates a reflective film to help concentrate the sun’s heat before it is converted into electricity
- The U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday it is looking to invest up to $60 million into advancing concentrating-solar-power technologies. The DOE will spend the money on projects working to develop thermal-storage concepts and fluids used to transfer heat during the process of making solar electricity. Selected companies are also expected to chip in and pay for 20 to 50 percent of the cost of the projects.
- General Motors (NYSE: GM) said Thursday it has dropped an undisclosed amount of funding into the coffers of Boston-based cellulosic-ethanol developer Mascoma as part of a “strategic relationship” (see GM Accelerates Biofuel Investment). The company announced a similar investment in Coskata, another startup working to make ethanol from nonfood materials, in January (see With GM Deal in Hand, Coskata Promises $1 Ethanol)
- Cellulosic ethanol producer Range Fuels has tacked more than $50 million more onto a $100 million funding round it announced in March, according to a Thursday post by VentureBeat. Passport Capital, Morgan Stanley Capital Group and others participated in the new tranche, the blog reported
- Brazilian ethanol company Brenco last week said it plans to raise $3.2 billion in an initial public offering worth $3.2 billion this year or next year, according to Dow Jones. Brenco will use part of the money to construct 10 ethanol mills, with the capacity to produce a total of 3.8 billion liters (1 billion gallons) of ethanol, by 2015, the news agency reported. Last year, Brenco raised $200 million in financing from famed cleantech backer Vinod Khosla and AOL co-founder Steve Case, according to a Venture Beat post.
- Spokane, Wash.-based fuel-cell maker ReliOn said last week it had raised $23 million in a third round of financing. Investors included the PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund and Robeco. The funding is $6.1 million higher than the $16.9 million reported in March by Private Equity Hub and TradingMarkets.com (see Funding Roundup: Will Green Investments Bring Ireland More Luck?
- Lead-acid battery developer Firefly Energy had snagged $15 million in its third round of funding, according to a Private Equity Hub post Monday. Khosla Ventures and Infield Capital participated in the round, according to VentureWire, which also reported that Firefly had previously raised about $16 million from Stark Capital, KB Partners, Caterpillar, the Illinois Finance Authority and Tri-County Venture Capital Fund.
- TechnoSpin, which develops small-wind turbines for residential and commercial use, has closed its first round of funding with $8 million. The financing was led by 21Ventures. The New York-based wind company will use the backing to support its research and development and its sales and marketing efforts. TechnoSpin claims its turbine can operate in less wind than competing turbines.
- Israel Cleantech Ventures announced Monday it had closed its first fund at $75 million. The fund's backers include Netherlands-based asset manager Robeco Private Equity and U.S.-based financial institution Piper Jaffray. Israel Cleantech Ventures, which was founded in 2006, said it would invest in companies focused on alternative energy, water conservation and purification as well as in other emission-reducing and energy-saving technologies. The fund has already made seven investments, including bets on wastewater treatment developer AqWise - Wise Water Technologies and electric vehicle infrastructure company Project Better Place (see Funding Roundup: Cash for Coal, Cars, Wind and Water and Bumpy Road Ahead for Project Better Place?).