Friday, July 13, 2007

Big week for cleantech deals

Lots of deals to catch up on here at the end of the week:
  • Energy efficiency is the new "IT" sector (apologies for a very bad pun): Computer/server efficiency software provider Verdiem has raised a $8.33mm round of financing led by Kleiner Perkins, and including participation by The Westley Group, Phoenix Partners, Falcon Partners, Catamount Ventures, Angeleno Group, and Trevor Traina (angel). The company's software allows computer system administrators to remotely override PC users when they re-set their efficiency settings (turning off "sleep" mode, for example).
  • Thin-film (CIGS) solar developer SoloPower raised a $30mm Series B, led by Convexa Capital, and including participation by Scatec AS and Spencer Energy AS. Existing investors Crosslink Capital, Firsthand Capital Management and Musea Capital also took part in the financing. VentureWire noted that the team had had a term sheet with a "very reputable" (note: VWire's quote marks) U.S. VC before going with this mostly Norwegian group of backers.
  • Another thin-film solar startup (this time using amorphous Si), MWOE Solar, announced a $7mm Series A led by Emerald Technology Ventures, and including participation by NGP Energy Technology Partners.
  • Linking themselves with the energy efficiency angles of RFID and sensors, Germany-based Nanotron announced an EUR 10mm round of financing led by zouk ventures, and including existing investors Polytechnos, Danfoss, and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft - VC Fonds Berlin.
  • 6N Silicon, which is developing a method for less expensive production of solar grade silicon, made a public announcement of their C$6mm Series A. Ventures West and Yaletown Venture Partners led the round. The company also announced that they've taken in C$4mm from SDT Canada to help build out a demonstration line.
  • VentureWire reported that Korean brushless DC motor developer SNTech has taken in a $1.2mm or $1.5mm (some discrepancies in the article) seed round of financing from SAIL Venture Partners, which took a 25% ownership stake in the company. The company had $2.5mm in revenue in 2006 and offers cheaper and more efficient motors versus incumbent designs. VWire also revealed this past week that SAIL is in the process of raising their first institutional LP-backed fund, and that the firm has several European such backers committed to what is targeted to be a $100mm total fund raise.
Other news and notes: Speaking of VentureWire, Jonathan Shieber and the rest of the team there have launched a new daily news service focused on cleantech... Is private equity/ venture capital souring on solar? (this week's funding announcements notwithstanding, we assume)... A useful update on BPL... Neal on the ongoing "cleantech" vs "greentech" debate... For the job-seekers out there, one blogger's take on 13 socially-responsible careers in finance... A nice profile of Southwest Wind Power and micro-wind in general... Finally, even when you spend all your time paying attention to energy markets and the like, you still come across the occasional graphic that takes you aback. Wow.

REMINDER for the next REBN-East networking event:
July 19th, at Flat Top Johnny's in Kendall Square, 6:30pm.

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