Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Imperium's $100mm raise, and a lot of other news

  • Following up on an item from last month, it appears that Imperium Renewables (f/k/a Seattle Biodiesel) is set to announce a $100mm raise of equity and debt. Several hedge funds and a pension fund are new into the deal -- the city of Seattle's employee pension fund is participating (apparently putting in $10mm of the round), with Stark Investments, Ardsley Partners, and Sound Energy Partners also involved. It's unclear how much of the raise is equity, and to what extent existing investors (including Vulcan Ventures, Technology Partners, Nth Power and Ignition Partners). [Other past news on Imperium here, here and here]
  • DayStar, a publicly-traded developer of thin film PV technology, has raised a $5mm PIPE from a group of six investors, with Millennium Partners the largest funder. The money is intended to help bridge the company (which lost $15mm during the first nine months of 2006) while it raises significantly more capital toward the building of a production line in Malta.
  • Enerkem Technologies, which is developing syngas production technologies for both tar sands and waste feedstocks, has raised a C$8.6mm round of financing. New investors Rho Ventures and Braemar Energy Ventures led the round, which also included participation by existing investors Solidarity Fund QFL and Innovatech Sud du Quebec.
  • UltraCell, a micro fuel cell developer, has raised a $10.3mm Series C, according to a press release by BASF Venture Capital, which is providing $3mm of the raise. Other investors in the round aren't disclosed in the release, but existing investors include Sevin Rosen, OnPoint, Star Ventures, BankInvest Group, and ES Tech Ventures.
  • Kreido Laboratories, which is developing biodiesel plants based upon its proprietary technology for the flexible use of multiple feedstocks, has gone public in a reverse merger as part of a $25mm private placement. Wellington Asset Management led the investment group involved in the raise; the company plans to open their first plant in 2007, and two others are also in development. The company is also changing their name to Kreido Biofuels.
  • This site doesn't delve much into the political angles of cleantech investing, but it's impossible to ignore that politics and cleantech VC have seen their boundaries increasingly blurred recently. Here's one article on VCs getting into policy and political discussions... and now here's another example of a politico getting into investing (of course, it's hardly a stretch to think about Steve Westly getting involved with technology investing, although it's interesting to see him co-habitating with Kleiner). This blurring of the lines illustrates that political and policy analysis skills are increasingly important for VCs and other investors looking to be active in the energy technology space.
Other news and notes: Here's a nice general "state of the sector" piece... An interesting critique of lithium ion as an energy storage technology by Tyler (time to start buying up Bolivian salt pan rights?)... A nice overview of the ongoing shift of political and business attitudes around climate change policy... More on the ongoing hydrogen highway debate... Finally, a small encouraging piece of news about sustainable energy research -- but mostly, I just enjoyed the mental image of a "nanocollege."


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