cleantech insights

Opower’s growth: an interview w/ SVP @roderickmorris

M Paschich


On May 21-22, Opower and Cleantech Group are co-hosting the New Utility Business Model Summit. It’s no question that the utility industry is increasingly shaped by higher customer expectations, expanding deployment of distributed energy generation, and ambitious energy efficiency goals. In the lead up to this summit, we’re interviewing key policy makers, regulators, and influencers on the topic of what the evolving utility industry will look like, and the opportunities that this evolution will create for utilities to develop deeper and more profitable relationships with their customers.


Congratulations on a successful IPO! What does this mean for the future of Opower and your utility customers?

Friday [April 4th, 2014] was definitely an exciting day: it was great to celebrate it with so many other early Opower employees who have worked so hard together to grow this business over the past several years. With that shared experience, we could all appreciate how this new funding validates the work we’ve been doing, and there’s real excitement knowing that we’ll now have even more opportunity to make investments that help people use less energy. We’ll do this through the four core business lines served by our platform, which are …


This Deal Matters: Evogene files for IPO

Amanda Faulkner

 Evogene, an Israeli developer of biotechnologies geared toward developing improved plants for agriculture and biofuel industries through use of plant genomics, filed for an IPO on the NYSE on November 11. The company plans to raised $86 million and would have a market value of $412 million at the midpoint of its proposed range. Evogene has established collaborative relationships with Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer CropScience, showing real traction with the top players in the industry.

While the public markets have opened up a bit, with BioAmber, Control4, and Silver Spring Networks recently listing, it is still tough for companies in the areas of energy, materials, water, and agriculture to go public. However, Evogene is not the only agriculture company approaching the public markets. Marrone Bio Innovation, a US developer of natural weed, pest and disease management products, raised $57 million on NASDAQ in its August 2013 offering.

With Evogene’s filing, we could see even deeper interest in companies working on geed genomics for both agriculture and biofuels. To see which companies may be on the road to a public offering or could attract large venture rounds, we rounded up some of the …

The Week in Cleantech: Oct. 21 – 27


StemThe i3 Platform tracked exciting news from across cleantech sectors last week. Stem, a company marketing battery energy storage systems designed to enable commercial utility customers to better manage their energy use and avoid peak rates, announced a financing partnership with Clean Fleet Investors. Through the program, which has an initial sum of $5 million to work with, Stem will begin offering its battery energy management systems at no or low up-front cost, much the way residential solar companies have spurred higher demand through lease and power purchase agreements.

AutomaticIn another interesting partnership, Automatic, a provider of vehicle monitoring solutions designed to help drivers become more fuel-efficient, got a boost from Apple, which said it would begin offering Automatic’s product in its stores.

Meridian EnergyIn New Zealand, renewable energy generation company Meridian Energy announced its intent to conduct an initial public offering worth $1.7 billion. At that size, the offering would be the New Zealand exchange’s largest ever. While the majority of the company’s generation portfolio comes from traditional hydro-electric plants, which provide more predictable baseload power, it also operates almost 400 MW of wind power.

277-1_logo_v1Several companies raised venture funding during the week. WiTricity, a company …

The Week in Cleantech: August 5 – 11


Last week brought a flurry of IPO news in cleantech. Industrial biotech company Intrexon, which raised $150 million privately in Q2, commenced its trading on the NYSE at $16 per share, raising $160 million more. The company has been backed by its billionaire Chairman and CEO, Randall J. Kirk, as well as Third Security, NewVa Capital Partners, and several undisclosed investors.

Pattern Energy Group, a developer and operator of renewable energy and transmission assets, filed for a $345 million IPO. The company was bought out in 2009 by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings, which speculated during the week that it, too, would float a new related entity, Riverstone Energy, on the London Stock Exchange. The new publicly traded fund expects to raise GBP500 million ($778 million) and invest in the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors.

NovaLED, a Germany-based developer of high-efficiency organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), was acquired by Samsung for $350 million. The company had raised just over $35 million from venture investors including Samsung Ventures, TechFund Europe, TechnoStart, CDC Entreprises, Omnes Capital, and others.

In venture capital, LP Amina, a China-based provider of emissions …

The Week in Cleantech: July 29 – Aug 4


Smart buildings start-up Control4 listed its IPO on the NASDAQ under the symbol CTRL at $16 per share, the midpoint of its planned range, raising $64 million. Major venture shareholders include Foundation Capital, Thomas Wiesel Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures, Cisco Systems, and Signal Peak Ventures.

Rive Technology, a developer of zeolite catalyst technology for improving the efficiency of the oil to gasoline conversion process, raised $20 million in fresh growth equity in a round led by new investor Saudi Aramco Ventures. Existing investors, including Charles River Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures, Mitsui, and Nth Power, also participated in the round.

Solar PV-Thermal hybrid system maker EchoFirst was acquired by SunEdison. The price was not disclosed, but the new parent plans to finance installations of PV-Thermal hybrid systems with a dedicated $50 million fund.

Modular nuclear reactor developer NuScale Power gained a new development partner in Rolls Royce. The diversified power systems manufacturer known for jet engines and spiffy cars also has a 50-year history in the nuclear power industry, and is sure to be an integral partner in the commercialization of NuScale’s technology under the US DOE Small …

The Week in Cleantech: July 1 – 7


The first week of the third quarter brought significant deal-making activity in cleantech, despite the U.S. Independence Day holiday. Most noteworthy were a few deals involving some venture exits:

ecoATM, a maker of electronics recycling kiosks that had raised just over $30 million in venture capital from investors including Claremont Creek Ventures, was acquired by Outerwall, maker of Coinstar money-changing kiosks, for $350 million. Outerwall had also been a strategic investor in the company.

There was also a flurry of IPO news during the week. French industrial wastewater treatment company Orege listed its IPO on the Euronext Paris exchange, raising EUR20 million ($26 million) in a transaction that values the company at around EUR60 million. Orege is backed by Climate Change Capital and Oraxys.

And in the U.S., two cleantech companies filed for $60 million IPOs during the week. Control4, a Salt Lake City, UT-based maker of building energy management and control systems toward energy efficiency, is backed by Foundation Capital, Cisco, GSV Capital, and others. Marrone Bio Innovations, a Davis, CA-based developer of natural weed, pest, and disease management products for plants and crops, is backed by Calvert Investments, …

The Week in Cleantech – Sept 24 – 30


An exciting week in cleantech wrapped up the third quarter last week, with several companies raising private capital and several interesting partnerships formed.

Fisker Automotive, which speculated as recently as August about completing an initial public offering in 2013, raised $103 million in a private growth equity round from existing investors. It is the third round of growth equity funding the company has raised in 2012 amid recalls of its first model, the Karma, and struggles to secure the right CEO.

Tesla, another maker of electrified vehicles but already a public one, announced it would seek to raise up to $221 million in a third public offering of its shares. The company has struggled to generate demand for its high-end EVs, while also having difficulty meeting production quotas for those customers who have pre-reserved vehicles.

Several cleantech startups raised Seed or Series A rounds during the week. Brisbane Materials, an Australian company developing advanced coating materials for the solar PV industry among others, raised $5.2 million from New Venture Partners and Southern Cross Venture Partners. Other companies raising early stage equity during the week (For brevity’s sake, I’ll list the company along with its (sector), and …

Weekly Investment Highlights (Dec 9, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 73 investments, 14 M&As, 336relationships and 45 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

New Relationships

  • ECOtality and Silver Spring Networkshave formed a Technology Partnership. ECOtality has agreed to integrate its Blink electric vehicle (EV) charging stations

Weekly Investment Highlights (Dec 2, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 201 investments, 8 M&As, 250 relationships and 39 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 25, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 56 investments, 16 M&As, 80 relationships and 11 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Eurotec WTT was acquired by RWL Water Groupfor an Undisclosed Amount. RWL’s purchase is part of a growth strategy to expand waste-to-energy offerings & provide full-service solutions to middle market customers.
  • Solar Power Partners was acquired by NRG Energyfor an Undisclosed Amount. Solar Power Partners will become a part of NRG Solar and add