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The Week in Cleantech – Aug 27 – Sept 2

TroyAult

Last week saw plenty of exciting news in the world of cleantech investment and partnerships, notably so in clean transportation.

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, an Auburn Hills, Michigan based supplier of hybrid and electric vehicle power trains, has become the latest US-based electric vehicle technology developer to turn to China for financial backing and promise of a burgeoning market for its wares. The company has formed a $200 million joint venture with China’s MESA Century Energy Technology to build hybrid electric vehicles for the Chinese market. The deal reportedly includes $70 million in support of ALTe’s US based operations.

Better Place received a EUR40 million loan from the European Investment Bank to fund network deployments and day to day operations in Denmark and Israel. The loan marks the first ever credit facility for Better Place from a large financial institution.

And finally AMP Electric Vehicles, an Ohio based over-the-counter traded electric vehicle manufacturer, secured a commitment for a $7.5 million private growth equity round from Kodiak Capital Group, pending approval from regulators. Kodiak expressed particular interest in AMP’s EV heavy truck fleet vehicle development.

Outside of the transportation sector, insolvent solar cell manufacturer Q-Cells finally found a buyer in …

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Something Has to ‘Give’ in European cleantech M&A

Richard Youngman

This week, one year ago, it was announced that ABB had acquired Epyon, a developer of fast-charging technology for electric vehicles.  Following on from BASF’s acquisition of Inge, Alinda’s acquisition of agri.capital and  Samsung’s of Liquavista, the M&A wave of venture-backed European cleantech companies we’d all been waiting for seemed to be happening. A year on – we are still waiting. It proved a false dawn, but surely, actually, some kind of a postponed dawn.

We have spent some weeks, with Richard Cave-Bigley as our project lead, analysing the state of the market and discussing this stand-off between potential buyers and sellers with many corporate representatives (in both M&A and venturing teams), venture firms, Limited Partners, and other market agents (such as lawyers, brokers and corporate finance advisors).

Here are some of our key impressions, detailed in a fuller research report we have released to our i3 subscribers today:

Something has to give soon (the title of the report). Many cleantech venture funds, with 2005-2007 vintages are in their divestment periods, with many more following on close behind. Such fund managers are trying to strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, they wish to time exits …

Tropos Networks: A Mirror On Ourselves

Greg Neichin

Don’t make the story about yourself.

This is an old adage that journalism professors telling aspiring reporters.  Luckily, I’m not a reporter, so I can ignore that advice.

The story of Tropos Networks, which was successfully acquired recently by ABB, is a story about me.  In fact, it’s a story about many of us and that, to me, is what makes it so compelling.

It is a story of how technologies & executives originally groomed in the hype to reality cycle of the datacom and software world found their way into the cleantech sector only to find themselves on a similar roller coaster journey.  In the case of Tropos, as I hope for many of us, I think this story has a happy and productive ending.

Tropos Networks was born during the first dot.com boom in early 2001.  This is when I, a fresh Silicon Valley transplant, first became aware of the company.  I was working in the datacom equipment business for Redback Networks on Strategy & Business Development when I had the chance to meet early Tropos investor Curtis Feeny at Voyager Capital.  At the time, a calm before-the-storm moment in history, Tropos had a vision for building …

The Internet of (Big) Things

Greg Neichin

Those of us fond of exploring the world of emerging opportunities at the intersection of cleantech and computing power often talk about the Internet of Things.  When he first coined the term in 1999, Kevin Ashton prophetically wrote:

If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so.

I share Kevin’s sentiment that the Internet of Things has the potential to be world changing, but I find it is increasingly important to define what “things” we are talking about.  The world is obviously full of inanimate machines from huge to microscopic and tracking all of these disparate devices would require varying levels of investment, networks, and data crunching capabilities.

The topic was on my mind this week as I reflected on two new deals we tracked in i3 that represented opposite ends of the …

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

Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 18, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 95 investments, 10 M&As, 141 relationships and nine 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 11, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 83 investments, 19 M&As, 210 relationships and 15 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

  • Agilewaves was acquired by Serious Energy for an Undisclosed Amount. The deal will bring Serious a new level of granular building energy data from Agilewaves’ detailed building monitoring system.
  • Rochem merged with APTwater for an Undisclosed Amount. APT & Rochem’s merger will allow the companies to deliver reliable, clean water from some of the most challenging resources in the industry.

Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 4, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 32investments, 14 M&As, 182 relationships and 14 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

  • Home Energy Experts was acquired by Shaka for an Undisclosed Amount. This transaction is part of a series of strategic acquisitions to create a profitable corporation servicing the renewable energy industry.
  • Managing Energy was acquired by Noesis Energy for an Undisclosed Amount. Managing Energy will operate as a subsidiary of Noesis Energy.
  • Classic Conservatories and Solar was acquired by Shaka for an Undisclosed Amount. This transaction is part of a series of strategic acquisitions to create