Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

GE has announced that they plan on doubling their cleantech venture capital investments from $25mm this year to $50mm in 2008. It's yet another sign of the importance of cleantech for such large capital goods providers, who are also likely to be major acquirers of clean technologies as the space continues to mature -- and thus providing exits for many cleantech venture investments. It's also interesting to note that GE had previously moved away from direct venture investments in the past, and this announcement is further indication that the company is getting more comfortable getting back into a corporate VC business model...

Deals from the past week:
  • E-waste processing company Intechra announced a $30mm equity round, led by Richland Ventures, Oxford Bioscience Partners, and First Avenue Partners. Intechra has raised $50mm over the past two years. Jonathan Shieber at VWire had a nice column last week discussing this deal and others in the recycling space...
  • An interesting play by Khosla Ventures and Venrock -- Transonic Combustion, which is developing a fuel injection system with fuel efficiency benefits for internal combustion engines, announced a Series B of undisclosed amount, with both venture capital firms participating (Venrock led the round). Advanced internal combustion engine designs and components can be a very difficult play for venture capital firms to get comfortable with (slow adoption cycles, a plethora of alternative designs out there sitting in engineers' garages, and potentially difficult exits are all factors), but there's no disputing that it's a huge potential market for any firm that can successfully address the challenges facing such efforts.
Cleantech investors in the news: OnPoint, which has been pretty active in cleantech, is losing some of its funding... Southern Cross, a new Australian venture capital firm, announced they have raised A$170mm first-time fund, and that clean energy investments in Australia and New Zealand will be part of the fund's focus... Nancy Floyd, of Nth Power, wants better clean energy policies in Oregon.

Other news and notes: Biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables, which has raised over $200mm in funding, filed for a $345mm IPO... In the ongoing discussion of cleantech clusters, the Economist adds this column worth checking out... A good overview of Cleantech 2007... The Cleantech Venture Network and Weber Shandwick are teaming up to promote the Cleantech Venture Fora... Finally, sounds like they're doing some neat things up at Dartmouth these days.


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