We saw an uptick in venture investment in cleantech last week, and by the diversity of deals one might think venture investors the world over had coordinated to diversify one large portfolio and ensure that several important cleantech sectors were receiving funding.
The preceding five weeks had seen an average of nine venture deals done per week with a dollar average of $92 million invested. Last week, however, we tracked 18 venture deals in cleantech for a total coming in just under $200 million.
The top deal of the week went to eco-friendly and energy efficient modular home builder Blu Homes, which raised $60 million in growth equity from Skagen Group, a Dutch investment firm. Blu Homes constructs customers’ homes at it’s facility in Vallejo, CA using sustainable practices ranging from recycled materials to passive home design, then ships the home in pieces to the customer’s site where it is reassembled.
Again, the diversity of deals was what stood out last week, with companies raising capital in cleantech sectors ranging from transportation to water & wastewater to wind power. But also worth noting was the prevalence of early stage deals – an encouraging sign in a trying period for cleantech when investors have been sticking more to the safety of follow-on rounds. There were six Series A venture deals during the week, including these three:
Blue River Technology raised $3.1 million from Khosla Ventures. The company is a Stanford-derived startup seeking to provide an alternative to chemical-intensive agriculture by the replacement of hazardous chemical herbicide with robotic technology.
Axine Water Technologies raised $1.5 million from BDC Venture Capital and Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Axine is a developer of low cost, energy efficient wastewater solution for oxidizing toxic, recalcitrant organics, ammonia and pathogens.
Voiturelib raised $2.6 million from Alven Capital and Index Ventures. The French company is a developer of a peer-to-peer car sharing platform that connects car owners willing to rent their cars with potential tenants.
In M&A, Spanish renewable energy and engineering major Abengoa has agreed to take a 55% stake in South Korean company Hankook, which specializes in recycling steel dust. The deal, valued at $78 million, constitutes Abengoa’s entry into the South Korean market, and provides the Spanish company with an option to acquire the rest of Hankook within five years.
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