Thursday, May 31, 2007

Powerit, LiveFuels, Southwest Windpower, INI Power, and NanoH2O

Lots of deal announcements over the past couple of days.

To begin with [self-promotion alert], Powerit Holdings, which provides automated solutions for energy demand management, announced a $7.1mm Series A led by @Ventures, and including participation by Expansion Capital Partners, as well as existing investors Stellar Holdings and company management. Powerit's technology is uniquely able to help large industrial and commercial energy users to achieve significant savings on their electricity bill without any negative impacts on productivity or comfort, and with very strong payback periods. Since industrial buildings consume 27% of all electricity produced in the U.S., it's a big market. Also, Powerit's technology fills in a big missing piece of the demand response market (see the recent IPOs of EnerNOC and Comverge), by providing automated solutions for large industrial sites to become participants in those company's programs.

Other deals to note:
  • LiveFuels, a self-described "mini-Manhattan Project for algae-to-biofuels", announced a $10mm Series A led by David Gelbaum of the Quercus Trust. Jonathan Shieber at VentureWire reports that the company is trying multiple strains of algae and multiple processing technologies. "We are trying them all," he quotes from Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, the CEO, "We're not biased. We'll use any one that works." [6/1 update: InsideGreentech also has a very good column on the company]
  • Southwest Windpower, a developer of small-scale distributed windpower products, announced a $6.5mm round of financing (VentureWire describes it as a "second tranche of its Series B financing") led by NGP Energy Technology Partners. Existing investors RockPort, Altira, and CTTV Investments (Chevron's VC arm) also participated.
  • INI Power, which is developing direct methanol fuel cells for portable power, announced a $4mm Series B led by MHI Energy Partners, who also led the company's $3mm Series A in 2004. Other unnamed investors also participated.


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