Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Overview of Cleantech VC deals in April: Greentech Venture Funding in April Roundup $335M

A total of more than $335 million invested in 27 deals.
[information compiled by Greentech media]

Venture capital funding of greentech firms totaled $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2011 -- an extremely strong showing, albeit with a leaning towards later-stage deals.

The momentum seemed to slow a bit in April with more than $330 million invested in 26 deals. The biggest greentech deal this month was Suniva with their $115M round D, closed after suspending their request for a DOE loan guarantee.

VC Funding in Solar

Suniva (Atlanta, Georgia) a manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells raised $94 million of a $115 million round D from NEA, Warburg Pincus, et al.

SolarReserve (Santa Monica, California), a developer of utility-scale solar thermal power plants, raised a $20M round C from undisclosed investors. The new round brings SolarReserve's total VC raised to over $160 million from Argonaut Private Equity, Citi, Credit Suisse, Good Energies, Nimes Capital, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, and US Renewables Group.

Tigo Energy (Los Gatos, California), a provider of solar panel electronics raised $10 million from Generation Investment Management, Matrix Partners, OVP Venture Partners, ICV Partners, IAC, and Clal Energy. The firm previously raised $27 million from Inventec Appliances, Matrix Partners, OVP Venture Partners, and ICV.

Geostellar (Reston, Virginia), a developer of technology to determine the best places for solar (or wind, hydro and biofuel plants) won $2 million from Flash Forward Ventures.

VC Investment in Fuel Cells and Energy Storage

Ioxus (Oneonta, New York), a manufacturer of ultracapacitor technology, raised $21 million from Energy Technology Ventures, Northwater Capital, Aster Capital, and Braemar Energy Ventures. The firm plans to expand its manufacturing capacity from 20,000 ultracaps a month to 200,000 a month for use in markets like wind, portable lights, and transportation. Energy Technology Ventures is a JV between GE, ConocoPhillips and NRG Energy. Aster Capital is an investment vehicle for Alstom and Schneider Electric.

FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions (Germany) secured investment from Deutsche Telekom’s venture capital arm T-Venture, German development bank KfW, and the U.K.-based Entrepreneurs Fund for its PEM fuel cells ranging in power from 0.5 kilowatt to 50 kilowatts.

ReliOn (Spokane, Washington), a maker of fuel cells for backup power applications, raised $6 million from existing investors.

Intelligent Energy (Loughborough, UK) raised $11.4 million from existing investors such as Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Enterprise to develop hydrogen fuel cells.

VC Investment in Smart Buildings

Scientific Conservation (San Francisco, California), a building energy management company, closed its round B with more than $19 million from GE Energy Financial Services, Intel, and Triangle Peak Partners. Scientific Conservation's software-as-a-service approach reduces energy spending by contrasting modeled energy and system efficiencies against real-time operation.

OutSmart Power Systems (Natick, Mass.), a spin-out of Manifold Products building a network of software and hardware for energy management and monitoring in commercial buildings, added $1.8 million to a debt-based funding round that could reach $4.5 million. Previous VC investors included Bainco International Investors, the Clean Energy Venture Group, and Manifold Products.

Panoramic Power (Israel), a real-time, cloud-hosted energy-monitoring company, raised $4.5 million in new funding from Israel Cleantech Ventures, Greylock Parnters, Clal Energy, Qualcomm Ventures, Israel Electric Co., and Alexander Schneider, bringing the company's total funding to $6 million.

VC Investment in Smart Grid

Utilicase (Montreal, Quebec) won a $5 million investment deal from Cycle Capital for optimization in real time of electrical production management.

VC Investment in Lighting

Shine-on (China) raised a $51.5 million round B from Mayfield Fund, IDG-Accel Capital, GSR Ventures, and Northern Light Ventures for packaging, chip and applications design for the high brightness LED market.

Digital Lumens (Boston, Mass.), a developer of LED lighting systems, raised a $10 million round B. Return backers include Black Coral Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners and Stata Venture Partners. The company also secured a line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank.

Barefoot Power won angel backing for its solar powered LED lighting for developing nations.

VC Investment in Biofuels and Biomass

Shalivahana Green Energy Limited (Andhra Pradesh, India) a biomass power producer, received $15 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC).

VC Funding in Wind Power

Wind Energy Direct (Limerick, Ireland), won a $29.6 million round from ESB Novusmodus. The firm installs wind turbines on customer’s industrial sites and finances, owns, and operates the turbines while selling the electricity produced to it customers at a discount to their retail rate.

Greengate Power (Calgary, Alberta), a developer of wind energy projects, raised $15.2 million in funding from The Westly Group, NGEN Partners and SAM Private Equity.

VC Funding in Energy Efficiency

Groom Energy (Salem, Mass.) a provider of energy assessments and renewable energy projects received $2.6 million in funding from a group of angel investors.

GMZ Energy (Waltham, Mass.) won $7 million as part of a first funding round from Mass High Tech and with seed capital from Kleiner, Perkins Caulfield & Byers for its nanothermoelectric materials for cooling and waste heat harvest.

Hybrid Energy Solutions (Kilkenny, Ireland) won $1.2 million for its energy-efficient power generators used to power telecom infrastructures without access to power grids. Kernel Capital led the round.

Next Step Living (Boston, Mass.) won $1.5 million of a $2.8 million equity offering, according to an SEC filing. The firm assists consumers in the process of auditing their homes for energy inefficiencies. Previous investors included Black Coral Capital and the Clean Energy Venture Group.

VC Funding in Water Technology

Eureka Resources (Williamsport, Penn.), which focuses on wastewater treatment and disposal solutions to reduce the environmental impact of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Haddington Ventures.

Waterlife International (India) received an undisclosed amount from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

VC Funding in Transportation

Current Motor (Ann Arbor, Michigan), an electric motorcycle startup, raised $700,000 from Belle Capital, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, and former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz.

VC Funding in Miscellaneous Greentech

CoalTek (Tucker, Georgia) raised $2 million of a targeted $3 million round to bring its total funding to $53 million. CoalTek reduces the moisture content in a range of coals, with the goal of enhancing plant efficiency and environmental safety. Previous investors in the firm include Braemar Energy Venture, Lightspeed Ventures, Technology Partners, Element Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Atlantis Resources (London, England) completed a $6 million round from Statkraft, Morgan Stanley, et al. for their tidal-current powered turbines.

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