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Weekly cleantech investment highlights

Ousi Li

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 12 venture deals, 3 fund announcements, 12 M&As and 1 IPO related announcement. Below are some of the highlights. Cleantech Group subscribers can see the full roundup of all the deals here.

VC, private company and corporate investments

Over $100 million was raised by 12 cleantech companies globally. The two largest deals were:

  • California-based Transphorm, a developer of energy conversion technology for a wide range of applications, raised $20 million from Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.  The company’s technology cuts energy losses that result from converting alternating current, which comes out of wall sockets, to direct current.
  • California-based MBA Polymers, a provider of plastics recycling services, raised $15 million from Ambienta. The investment is the latest in a round of $40 million that the company raised to support its growth plans, including the construction of new factories in Europe and Asia.

Funds

Announcements were made by 4 funds looking to raise over $2.8 billion. The top 2 were:

  • Royal Philips Electronics announced it will commit €2 billion ($2.7 billion) towards green R&D investment over the next five years. The company has invested € 450
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Water: Week in Review

Mia Javier

Our research team regularly tracks key water sector news.  Below is this week’s highlights. Do you think we missed anything? Let us know!

Financings

  • VC Investor Nanostart Backs Membrane Instruments. Frankfurt-based Nanostart AG, a venture investor focused on nanotechnology, has invested an undisclosed amount in cleantech startup Membrane Instruments and Technology. Formed in 2009, Singapore-based Membrane Instruments is developing technology for monitoring and controlling water quality in filtration-based water treatment plants. Nanostart now owns 18% of Membrane Instruments.http://www.pehub.com/96137/vc-investor-nanostart-backs-membrane-instruments/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+pehub/news/all+(PEHub+News)
  • MIOX Corporation Awarded $497,746 for Phase II Small Business Innovation Research From the National Science Foundation. This funding, obtained by the MIOX science team in collaboration with Professor Shane Snyder at the University of Arizona and Dr. Benjamin Stanford at Hazen and Sawyer, provides a two year extension for a previously awarded NSF SBIR Phase I project investigating the use of aqueous chlorine as part of an Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). http://www.waterefficiency.net/the-latest/miox-oxidation-nsf.aspx
  • T Venture Backs Germany’s Cuculus. Cuculus GmbH, developer of smart metering and home control solutions, announces the completion of a strategic financing round. The funds will be used to gain market share and establish international presence as well as to further product developments. Existing shareholders will now

Insight of the Week: Most Active Venture Capital Investors in Cleantech in 2010

Whitney Michael

Based on disclosed deals, the most active cleantech investors globally in 2010 were: Draper Fisher Jurvetson with 22 deals, followed by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital (with 16 deals) and VantagePoint Venture Partners and RockPort Capital Partners with 14 deals each.

In total there were nine investors that participated in 10 or more deals.

Top Venture Capital firms in 2010

Although there were well over 700 active investors in VC deals in 2010, about three quarters (74%) of these only participated in a single deal. Only 30 investors (4% of the total) made investments in five or more companies, and only nine investors (1%) made 10 or more deals.

Source:  Cleantech Group 4Q10 Investment Monitor Report (available to subscribers only)

This Insight of the Week was originally featured in the free Inside Cleantech weekly newsletter.  Subscribe here.

Water: Week in Review

Mia Javier

Our research team regularly tracks key water sector news.  Below is this week’s round-up. If we missed anything, let us know!

Deals (Joint Ventures, New Orders and Contracts, Project Implementation, Incubators and Test Beds):

  • French Water Company Saur Signs An 8 year agreement worth USD400 million with Saudi Utility, Marafiq. In order to provide water supplies in Jubail, Saur, which is the third largest public water management company in France, inked a $46 million deal with the National Water Company in June 2010 to produce and distribute drinking water and provide sanitation services in Makkah and Taif, Seche said. http://www.waterworld.com/index/display/news_display/1358677729.html

  • Arcadis gets $8M contract for Oman work. Global engineering and consulting

Insight of the Week: Hot Facts About Lighting

Whitney Michael

LED-chip-makers Bridgelux just scored a $21 Million round of funding this week.  Last week, President Obama’s State of the Union address made much mention of energy efficiency initiatives.  It’s clear that the spotlight is on lighting, but did you know…

Lighting Facts

We have conducted extensive analysis into the lighting market and have mapped the competitive vendor landscape and the value chain.

Keep a look out for upcoming reports on the lighting market, subsectors and profiles of the companies involved and learn more about becoming a subscriber.

Source:  Cleantech Group Research

This Insight of the Week was originally featured in the free Inside Cleantech weekly newsletter.  Subscribe here.

The Ever Elusive Killer App for Energy Efficiency May Be Yoga Lessons

David Cheng

Earth Aid is what you get when you have an Internet mashup for energy efficiency.  Earth Aid, which just raised $4 million from investors, belongs to the new class of energy efficiency companies that focus on changing user behavior.  The company directly engages residential homeowners to lower their energy and water bills and rewards good behavior with discounts to local and national retailers (such as a free Yoga lesson).  In other words, it’s the Mint.com for energy use, pulls a yodlee.com on your utility bill, compares household performance a la OPOWER and then gives consumers Groupon-ish rewards when they redeem the points they have accumulated from their energy/water savings.  It’s almost as if your utility bill got a TechCrunch makeover.

Earth Aid is not just another OPOWER-like clone looking to eke out that 1-4% in energy savings for utilities.  In fact, it’s doing something bolder—it’s attempting to drive energy efficiency adoption through consumer pull.  From the moment “decoupling” was a tour de force by Art Rosenfeld (who’s getting honored at our upcoming San Francisco conference) and colleagues, energy efficiency has largely been led by policy or command and control business models.  Even OPOWER, which has demonstrated …

Water Tech Week

Mia Javier

During lunch yesterday, I discussed possible topics for this very post while I sat in between Sally Gutierrez of the EPA and Steve Kloos from GE. When Steve asked me what I’m researching and writing about next, I had to say that in the immediate term, I’d likely be blogging about this event! After a few chuckles were shared about a possible ‘Water Tech Fashion Blunders’ piece, we caught up on one another’s efforts. Unsurprisingly, water technology innovation remains central to our respective activities.

For Sally and her group, they recently celebrated the announcement of their Water Technology Innovation Cluster in Cincinnati. An effort that we here at the Cleantech Group were delighted to support. Meanwhile, Steve quietly moves mountains over at GE as he identifies and evaluates early stage strategic innovation for GE’s water business. A non-trivial charge, to say the least. If you think you’re going to get any ‘on the record’ insight from this power house, think again.

Speaking of power houses, the first day of the main summit had plenty.

The first panel discussion uncovered a variety of perspectives on Corporate Water Risk and Efficiency/Sustainability Drivers. Of particular interest were the utility views represented by Joe …

What can carsharing learn from Groupon?

Stephen Marcus

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This phrase seems to be at the core of Germany-based Eileo’s carsharing vision.

Eileo is a lesser-known company in the smart mobility landscape when compared to its Zipcar and RelayRide counterparts – in fact I only came across Eileo because it was briefly mentioned at the end of Lisa Gansky’s new book, The Mesh.  (For those interested in hearing Lisa speak, she will be keynoting at the Cleantech San Francisco Forum next month). However, Eileo is creating a solution that has the potential to spread carsharing services at a pace and at a cost that business models such as Zipcar can only dream of.

Eileo works with budding entrepreneurs, major companies, and fleet owners to give them all the tools that they require in order to launch their own carsharing network. The full solution includes:

  • An online sharing application that allows members to quickly plan and book a car, manage customer relationships, as well as manage car maintenance schedules.
  • An easy-to-install, non-invasive, real-time and automatic system box with built-in GPRS-GPS-RFID-GSM/voice-bluetooth technology. This allows

One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015 – Our “Yugo Moment?”

David Cheng

Earlier this week, the US Department of Energy released an analysis that projects a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  While a million sounds like a large number in any context, it’s actually a very conservative goal.  In the State of the Union address, President Obama called our country towards a “Sputnik moment;” an advancement of scientific and technical education and achievement.  The gradual move towards the electrification of vehicles certainly falls in line with the President’s lofty goals of remaking our nation for a 21st century economy.  But I see the projection of the million electric vehicles by 2015 not as a “Sputnik moment” but more of a “Yugo moment.”

According to the study, there were 12 million light-duty vehicles sold in 2010.  This was up from the 10 million vehicles sold in 2009 but down from the 13-18 million vehicles per year from 2005-2008.   The US DOE estimates that to reach the one million vehicle goal, EVs will have to average approximately 2 percent of total sales from 2011 to 2015 (assuming sales of 12 million vehicles per year).

In context, two percent of total sales is approximately the number of BMWs …

Weekly cleantech investment highlights

Ousi Li

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 18 venture deals, 4 fund announcements, 22 M&As and 2 IPO related announcements. Below are some of the highlights. Cleantech Group subscribers can see the full roundup of all the deals here.

VC, private company and corporate investments

Over $1.28 billion was raised by 18 cleantech companies globally. The two largest deals were:

  • Barbados-based BioJet International, a developer of renewable jet fuel and related co-products for the aviation and transportation sectors, raised $1.2 billion funding from Equity Partners Fund SPC.  The company operates throughout the entire biofuel value chain including feedstock generation, technology, refining, logistics, sustainability certification, distribution, and end use by the aviation sector user.
  • California-based Bridgelux, a producer of LED chips and lighting arrays, raised $21 million led by Vantage Point Venture Partners and DCM.  The funds will be used to scale up production with the aim of lowering costs to target the residential lighting market.

Funds

Announcements were made by 4 funds looking to raise over $1.25 billion. The top 2 were:

  • Singapore-based Swiss-Asia Financial Services launched a new infrastructure fund called The China District Energy Fund, with a target size