Roundup: Defense overtakes cleantech for VC attention?

Here’s the latest action:
1. Homeland defense bigger for VCs than cleantech?
2. Energy bill takes a step closer to reality
3. AT&T retaliates against Apple?
4. College social networking site College Tonight reverse merges with Simex Technologies
5. Yossi Vardi backs personal timeline company, AllofMe
6. Chinese ad network AdsIt raises several million from Baidu, Intel Capital and Farallon Capital
7. Federated Media taking its “conversational marketing” to Facebook
9. As expected, NBC off of iTunes Homeland defense bigger for VCs than cleantech? — Defense and surveillance are hotter sectors for VCs than is cleantech, with the former sector reaching some $6 billion in investment in the past year in Europe and North America. Cleantech drew only $4.2 billion. At least, that’s what data from Venture Business Research shows. The group says cleantech has fallen behind this year, after being equal with defense last year at $3.5 billion. The data sounds fishy, because of the explosion of investments in clean-tech this year, and the lack of any major driver for defense growth. But this data suggests defense investments have almost doubled. You can read a rant on the subject from well-known author Naomi Klein, over at the Nation, but we’re checking with the London group to see how they collected their data.

Energy bill takes a step closer to reality — Congress finally set the terms of the new energy bill at the tail end of last week. Among the resolved items from the disputed parts of the bill are a higher-than-expected fuel standard of 35 mpg and a requirement for utilities to source 15 percent of their energy from renewables, both to take effect by 2020.

AT&T retaliates against Apple? — AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson told the Mercury News that a new iPhone will be introduced in 2008 with higher speed “3G” data connection. Some are now saying it may have been a retaliatory move on AT&T’s part — with AT&T upset about word that Apple may be joining Google in bidding for the upcoming auction for 700-MHz wireless spectrum. By saying that a new phone will be introduced next year, AT&T’s chief is encourage consumers to hold off on buying potentially millions of iPhones over the holiday season. We’re not sure if this makes sense, though, because the statement will also help kill subscriber sales for AT&T, which is iPhone’s exclusive carrier partner.
College social networking site College Tonight reverse merges with Simex Technologies — So you thought Facebook had sewn up the college market? Well, there are several college networks still alive and kicking, including College Tonight, which is still closed to anyone who doesn’t have a “.edu” email address. As part of the deal, Los Angeles-based College Tonight raised $1.6 million in funding. Simex, a pink sheet traded public company will change its name to “College Tonight Inc.”

Yossi Vardi backs personal timeline company, AllofMe – Vardi, the charismatic Israeli entrepreneur and investor who backed the IM platform ICQ, has invested and undisclosed amount of money into AllofMe, an Israeli company that maps out a timeline of your life, letting you store digital assets, including photos, videos and other documents in an online journal. The company is still under development. So far it sounds similar to OurStory (which we covered here) and so not a very new idea. The company is apparently trying to raise more funds.

Chinese ad network AdsIt raises several million from Baidu, Intel Capital and Farallon CapitalChina Web 2.0 cites sources saying the investment is between $4 million and $6 million. AdsIt is the exclusive provider of video ads for Baidu.

Federated Media taking its “conversational marketing” to Facebook — See details here.

As expected, NBC off of iTunes — Summary here.