Wednesday, June 07, 2006

GreatPoint and other stories

Dan Primack revealed an up to $30mm Series B for coal gassification startup GreatPoint Energy, with involvement by Kleiner Perkins. He also provides details on the previous $6.55mm Series A, by Advanced Technology Ventures and DFJ. Dan also editorializes a bit about "clean coal" as an investment area, but it should be noted that it's certainly a space that a great many VCs are looking into right now, for what that's worth. It should also be noted that there are more than three VC-backed companies involved in the space (Dan even mentioned one other in his last clean coal column), especially if you include pollution abatement equipment, carbon sequestration approaches, supporting sensors and monitoring techs, etc.

News also came out recently of a watertech-focused VC firm being raised in Israel, H2Tech. Something between $12-20mm (the article is unclear) has already been committed to this first fund, targeted at $50mm.

Other items of interest: Here's the transcript of Warren Leon's thoughtful keynote from a recent Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Summit... More pressure to address climate change, this time from the insurance industry... Some interesting thoughts on biofuels investing... Finally, a review of some of the recently launched cleantech public market indices.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Dan Primack said...

Rob,

What are the other VC-backed cos. in the space? My original column only cited 3 (including GreatPoint), with a few ancilliary ones that have clean coal applications, but aren't solely focused on the sector. Really interested to hear more...

8:14 AM  
Blogger Rob Day said...

Thanks, Dan -

Since it's a space my firm has done proprietary research on, and is actively tracking, I felt it wasn't appropriate to list specific companies. I think I gave a general sense as to how I see the category.

I don't think your general sentiments about "clean coal" tech (often capital intensive techs, sometimes unclear environmental benefits) are necessarily wrong. And it's certainly not as active a space as solar or some other sectors, perhaps for these reasons (although capital intensity seems to be getting MORE attractive for certain VCs these days). Just pointing out that three is a very low number when you consider all the technologies (direct, or supporting) being developed to make the use of coal as an energy source as efficient and environmentally-responsible as possible.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% clean coal can become a reality in the not-too-distant future and given that the US has the world's largest proven reserves of coal, it should remain the preferred energy source in the US. At the same time, this greatpointenergy company appears to have worthless technology. However, both the founders and their new financial backers have a lot of experience in hype, so maybe they can sell it to the even less knowledgable public before the need to generate real revenues arises?

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clean coal is the future, but this great point appears to have worthless technology. Let's hope the founders' and Kleiner's expertise in hype allows them to foist this clunker on the general public before the need to generate real revenues arises.

7:10 AM  
Blogger CW said...

Question on coal gasification: It would seem that one of the problems with this is that the coal still has to be mined, a not very "clean" process. Is anyone looking at this issue--cleantech coal mining?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone help me get some information about GreatPoint's clean coal technology. Are there any patents or technical literature available? Their web info is not illuminating.

DV

11:28 AM  

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