Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Solaria and LiquidPiston

  • The big deal so far this week is Solaria's $50mm Series C, led by Q-Cells and including existing investors Sigma Partners, NGEN and Moser Baer. In the deal, Solaria also gains access to 1.35 gigawatts worth of Q-Cells' PV cells to be used in Solaria panels over the next ten years. The slowness of high-profile CIGS and other thin film PV startups to get into the market has meant that the competition for silicon wafers and silicon-based cells is about as hot as it can get right now.
  • Cambridge, MA's LiquidPiston announced a $1.25mm seed round from Adams Capital Management and Northwater Capital. The company is developing an advanced "high efficiency hybrid cycle" engine. We've talked before about the challenges of investing in advanced engine technologies.
  • Cleantech investors in the news: Good Energies is expanding their U.S. operations, opening up new offices in NYC and Washington, DC, according to VentureWire. With $5B in assets under management globally, Good Energies has been ramping up their cleantech investing efforts significantly lately -- the VWire column mentioned portfolio companies Ice Energy, SAGE Electrochromics, Konarka, Renewable Energy Corp and the aforementioned Q-Cells (since Good Energies holds about 50% of Q-Cells, read the above notice about the Solaria investment accordingly...)... Also, here's a very good article on the important role of angel investors, using a cleantech example.
Other news and notes: The WSJ on cleantech... A good overview of water tech investing (yes, yours truly is quoted, but if you skip those parts it's still a good article)... The latest Dow Jones VentureOne/ E&Y numbers are out, and they give some props to cleantech... European VCs are being urged to ramp up their cleantech efforts or "face just getting the dregs of green projects"... Power from space?... Power from tornados?... Power from really smart marketing?... Speaking of smart marketing, here's a useful tool from ZAP -- find an EV plug-in site near you (thanks, Pluggy!)... Some intriguing thoughts on polling and policy... Finally, today's fun read: "He is an extraordinary gentleman, isn't he?"


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