Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tiger Optics, Ember, VeraSun, and other notes

  • Very pleased to report (self-promotion alert) that Tiger Optics has completed its Series B round of financing, led by Expansion Capital Partners, and including Georgieff Capital. Tiger Optics is a good example of optical sensing technologies that have broad applications across a wide range of cleantech (and other) markets. Their proprietary sensors, which offer (IMHO) superior performance in terms of reliability, ease of use, low maintenance and cost, are being used to improve manufacturing efficiency in several process industries and to do emissions analysis. And they also have future applications in environmental, health and safety monitoring, in the hydrogen economy, and (albeit not "cleantech") in medical diagnostics. I'm far from an unbiased observer on this one, so readers will draw their own conclusions; but as we've discussed before, generally speaking optical sensors and other "enabling technologies" have a big role to play in the cleantech space.
  • Closely related to the role of sensor technologies in cleantech markets is the additionally important enabling role to be played by machine-to-machine communications, something we've also discussed before. Along these lines, note the announcement today of Ember's $12mm latest round of financing, which brings total investment in the company to date up to $65mm. Ember is developing M2M communications using the ZigBee standard, which could end up being used in everything from sensor networks to automated meter reading to remote monitoring and control of manufacturing or "intelligent building" assets.
Other news to note: Decent article about the current overall state of private equity investing in clean energy (with some nice input from Vincenzo LaRuffa and data from New Energy Finance)... It's not private equity or VC, but just for fun here's the Green Energy Stock Challenge. Unfortunately, naked shorts are not allowed, apparently...


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