Tuesday, August 15, 2006

SensorTran, Plextronics, and REG

  • (self-promotion alert) Fiber optic sensor developer SensorTran announced a $5.5mm Series B round of financing, led by Expansion Capital Partners and including participation by WHEB Ventures and Stonehenge Capital. There was a good description of the company's technology and products, as well as some of the applications it can address, in this story from last thursday (note: access may req. free registration). Suffice to say, recent news headlines in energy infrastructure (examples here and here) have certainly highlighted some of the potential uses of SensorTran's technology. Sensors and monitoring systems remain a key enabler for a broad range of cleantech applications, and SensorTran's distributed sensing technology is yet another great example.
  • Plextronics, which has advanced technology for printed electronics, announced a $13.1mm Series A financing, led by Birchmere Ventures, and including participation by Firelake Capital, Draper Triangle Ventures, and other new and existing investors. The company's technology has a number of cleantech applications, but one which will certainly catch cleantech investors' attention is the potential use in manufacturing large-area solar cells, which the company claims can achieve costs of $1/Wp.
  • The biofuels march continues with a $100mm Series A financing of Renewable Energy Group (REG). It's unclear from the press release if the $100mm funding was entirely in Series A preferred, or if some portion was in other forms of financing, but either way it's a very large transaction. NGP Energy Technology Partners led the Series A, which also included strategic investors Bunge North America and ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. Natural Gas Partners VIII, L.P., the Sargents, West Central Cooperative, and other Iowa investors also participated in the financing. The financing will be used to build out REG's network of biodiesel production facilities, which they target at totaling 640m gpy by 2009.


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