Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated Book

Please check out the newly revised edition of this book. Now titled:  

Road Map for Investing Success

You will find an expanded chapter on risk and asset allocation plus a new chapter on behavioral mistakes.  


Friday, September 7, 2007

You're in the wrong spot!

Cleantech Investing has moved to its new home on Greentech Media. If you're seeing this message, you're missing out on all the latest posts! Click here to go to the new site, and bookmark (or to keep up with the latest... Thanks, Rob

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Expansion Capital and Tioga Energy

First off, thanks to everyone for all the kind words regarding the move to Greentech Media. So far so good!

  • Expansion Capital Partners is announcing today (will provide a link when we have one) that they have closed their Clean Technology Fund II at more than $100mm. To all my former colleagues at Expansion Capital, many congrats!!
  • Tioga Energy has added an additional $4mm to their Series A financing, bringing the total amount of the round up to $14mm. Nth Power provided the bulk of the second closing, according to PE Hub. We mentioned the first closing back in June.

Overdue update

Picked a bad week to fall behind on deal updates, it would appear...
  • CPV developer SolFocus announced $52mm in new funding this week, and they may not be done pulling together what could be a $70mm round when completed. According to PE Week Wire, $27.4mm of the new financing is targeted at launching a new Spanish subsidiary, and $24.6mm is Series B financing into the parent company. Insider NEA led the round again, with participation by Moser Baer India, Metasystem Group, NGEN Partners, Yellowstone Capital, David Gelbaum, and other investors. SolFocus also recently acquired a Spanish tracker company, Inspira.
  • Also according to PEWW, secretive solar startup Sierra Nevada Solar has raised $4.5mm in financing. AlarmClock reports that the financing was provided by EarthBright, a San Francisco-based cleantech investment group funded and led by Jonathan Bonanno, chairman of the Cleantech Investment Committee of the Keiretsu Forum, as well as angel investor Ryan Scott.
  • Plextronics, which is developing organic PV cells, OLEDs and RFID technology, has raised $20.6mm in Series B financing -- Matt Marshall has details. Strategic investor Solvay Group led the round, which included participation by Firelake Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Draper Triangle Ventures, and Newlin Investment Company. The round brings the total investment raised by the company to $37mm over the last five years.
  • Jonathan Shieber in today's Clean Technology Investor has an interesting column about the birth of Fisker Automotive Inc., a new plug-in hybrid vehicle startup with plans to introduce a four-door car in 2009. Shieber reports that the company, which has been founded by car designer Henrik Fisker and Quantum Fuel Systems CEO Alan Niedzwiecke (they met during the course of a used car transaction), is looking for outside capital -- and they estimate they'll need $100mm over several rounds to make a go of it. Interesting benchmark for EV and related startups... Of course, the obvious question is: What was an auto designer doing buying a used Land Rover, shouldn't he be driving around in some fancy prototype?
  • Also according to Shieber (this time in VWire), BC-based General Fusion has raised $1.2mm in seed financing to pursue the commercialization of the company's small fusion reactor technology. We briefly mentioned fusion in passing last week, alluding to the fact that General Fusion isn't alone in pursuing the commercialization of "hot" fusion approaches. If one of the entrepreneurial teams driving toward this goal could achieve "net positive" energy from any of these approaches, it would potentially be a big game-changer... There is more info in this interesting article about Canadian clean tech ("the sexiest area of the North American venture-capital world"), including hints that the company may be looking to raise additional capital.
  • UK-based Solarcentury has raised a GBP13.5mm round of financing, co-led by zouk ventures and Good Energies. Vantania Holdings Ltd and Foursome Investments, along with existing investors VantagePoint Venture Partners and Scottish and Southern Energy, also participated.
  • PEWW also broke the news that fuel cell backup power system ClearEdge Power has raised $6.47mm of an anticipated $19.47mm Series C. Applied Ventures is mentioned as an investor.
  • CTI also reported this week that Terrabon, a cellulosic ethanol technology developer, has raised $1.25mm in seed financing, bringing their total investment from "individual investors" up to $4.5mm.
  • PEWW reported last week that PV startup Solexant (with technology to "harvest energy from the entire solar spectrum") has raised a $4.3mm Series A, with backing from Trident Capital, Firelake Capital, and X/Seed Capital.
... And even more updates to follow soon...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Cleantech Investing acquired by Greentech Media

There's been a lot of news in the world of cleantech investing over the past few days, but we'll have to get to that later...

Because today we're very proud to announce that Cleantech Investing and Greentech Media are joining forces. I'll also personally be joining Greentech Media's Advisory Board.

We're very excited about the move. Greentech Media is launching a phenomenal one-stop-shopping news site for all things clean and green, and it's a great opportunity to team up with Scott and Rick and Eric and Jennifer and all the other folks at GTM.

C-I started out two and a half years ago on somewhat of a whim, as an attempt to capture some of the day to day developments in the fast-emerging cleantech venture investment sector, pretty much just for friends and family. Since then, the sector has exploded, and news now comes out so often and so rapidly that one busy investor working in his spare time can't possibly capture it all anymore. It never helped, either, that yours truly is not much of a web design expert... So when the opportunity came up to collaborate with a world-class online media team like GTM's, it just made a lot of sense. The experience of the GTM team, and the resources we'll be able to collectively focus on what's happening in the sector, will be invaluable for making sure C-I continues to be a useful resource.

But I'm also pleased to note that I'll continue to be the primary author of this site going forward, albeit with a lot more help/collaboration. It's been surprising (nay, shocking) to me for some time now just how many people have been reading the quickly jotted-down notes and thoughts of a modest venture investor every few days. Subscribers to the RSS feed, for instance, have pretty much been doubling every six months since the beginning of last year. It's been a lot of fun, and it'll be even more fun to be doing it as part of such a strong team. Look for even better content and a much better setup from this partnership, in other words...

During the post-launch period, we'll eventually bring all the past content and ongoing posts over to the new home on the GTM site on a permanent basis. In doing so, we'll work to make sure that however you may have been coming to C-I in the past, whether via RSS reader or daily email or directly via, it'll be a seamless transition for you. And now it'll also be easy for you to go from C-I right over to the main GTM site to learn more about anything related to cleantech you may be looking for.

As always, if you have any comments or questions (or especially business plans...), don't hesitate to contact me at Thanks for reading!

[PS: For you reporters out there, don't bother to ask... "terms of the transaction were not disclosed."]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Propel Biofuels

Extremely pleased [self-promotion alert] to share the announcement that Propel Biofuels has raised a $4.75mm Series A round (see Propel's pdf press release here), with funding provided by @Ventures and Nth Power. The investment round also included participation by several leading Seattle-area businesspeople, including Andrew Stout (founder of Full Circle Farms), Barry Barr (founder of KAVU), and Jack Rafn (founder of RAFN Construction). Also coming onto the board alongside Peter Mills of @Ventures and Nancy Floyd of Nth Power will be Arthur Rubinfeld, previously Exec VP at Starbucks, where he was responsible for building out the company from 100 locations to over 3,800 stores worldwide.

There are around 200,000 gas stations across the United States, but only 750 biodiesel refueling stations and 1,200 E85 refueling stations. And most of these locations aren't convenient or accessible to most drivers. As automakers bring clean diesel autos and flex fuel vehicles to market, and as venture-backed biofuels producers ramp up their volumes, the ability of most Americans to easily find locations to fuel their cars with biofuels remains a huge bottleneck in the market's development.

Propel's BDS Unit directly addresses these challenges, with a low-risk, no-upfront capital system for independent gas station owners, green-minded retailers and others who want to offer biofuel choices to their customers.