Feeding off the development of competitive energy markets, which allow consumers and businesses to choose a power service the same way they pick a telephone provider, SaveOnEnergy.com provides a portal where people can compare the different options for five states: Texas, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio.
A new startup that promises to make new and existing power plants run more reliably and produce less greenhouse gas emissions has received an undisclosed amount of funding by Bay Partners, Sequoia Capital and Redpoint Ventures.
RecycleBank, a Philadelphia company that rewards people for recycling at home, has raised another $30 million in financing led by Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to VentureWire.
In a sign of the maturation of the LED market, Luminus Devices has taken a meaty $72 million round to manufacture lights for a number of new consumer and commercial markets.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Oorja Protonics, a Sequoia Capital-backed Silicon Valley company developing an alcohol-based fuel cell technology for several years.
GreenFuel, an algal biofuel maker based in Cambridge, MA, has agreed to a deal for up to $92 million in financing for construction of a plant in Europe, according to Xconomy.
Niche social networks for the most part haven’t done spectacularly well, but RiverWired is willing to give it another shot with an environmentally aware social site that’s heavy on original content.
LS9, a synthetic biology startup that’s modifying microbes to churn out biofuels, has taken on a $3 million loan toward the construction of a pilot production plant, according to VentureWire.
Range Fuels, a company that is searching to become the first to bring a much cleaner kind of alternative fuel, cellulosic ethanol, to market commercially, has raised nearly $100 million in new financing.
Almost everyone knows that solar cells and solar thermal, both of which are used to convert the sun’s rays directly to energy, are hot areas for investment right now. A third, related branch I’m seeing increasingly of late is using sunlight to create hydrogen, an alternative fuel that many have proposed as a gasoline replacement.
Here’s the latest action (updated):
Video games are becoming an addiction for venture capitalists.
Threshold is not your average gadget-making firm. Their products aren’t chic or whiz-bang. However, the things they make do have the curious property of actually working with each other, according to its CEO, James Martin.
PureSense will have the distinction of being one of the few venture-funded firms to be located in Fresno, Calif., following a planned move. The company sells wireless sensor systems to farmers to help measure the water levels in soil.
Distributor and installer SolarPower Israel is betting on new regulations in Israel to boost investment into solar photovoltaics, in turn driving strong growth in their own business.
Pax Streamline is a spinoff of larger company Pax Scientific, which makes designs based on natural occurences like the shape of a leaf or phenomena like whirlpools. Such designs can often give a boost to performance or efficiency.
In two connected investments, General Electric has put $4 million into Think, a Norwegian electric car manufacturer, and $20 million into A123 Systems, which manufactures batteries that are used in the cars.
Everyone knows the name Tesla Motors. High-profile VC fundings, a high-performance sports car and its layoffs have gotten the company endless coverage. However, there’s also a slew of lesser-known electric car companies. One of the handful with real potential (and real funding) is Miles Electric Vehicle, a Santa Monica, Calif. company with plans to release a highway-speed electric car, the XS500, in 2009.
Eco-Carbone is a French company that develops carbon credits for sale on international markets by trapping methane emissions from coal mines. Although based in Europe, it works with Chinese mining companies to collect the emissions, which are then used for energy.
Following in the theme of great-but-unusual cleantech startups I talked about last week, I recently took some time to talk to Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures about a couple of his firm’s latest investments in the field.
Vast amounts of power are locked away in the movements of the ocean, but because of technical challenges, the number of startups that have attempted to harness wave power thus far is relatively small when compared to wind or solar.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bill H.R. 5351 to renew a standing investment tax credit for solar, as well as wind, biofuels and other renewable sources. But as in the past, the bill faces stiff resistance in the Senate and a veto from President Bush.
Venture capital investments into clean technology companies last year was $3.04 billion globally, and of those a solid 83 percent of the companies were in the United States.
Mascoma, an East Coast biofuel startup with a multi-pronged approach to commercializing cellulosic ethanol, has just become one of the most heavily funded companies of its kind with a $50 million funding reported by peHUB.
Purfresh, a Livermore, Calif. company that makes ozone equipment for purification of food and water, has added on $5 million to close out its $25 million third financing.
Some notable news and initiatives came out of this week’s Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, including a keynote by the man in charge of building Abu Dhabi’s zero-emissions Masdar City, a new entrepreneur-in-residence program for three national laboratories and, separately, a $33.8 million grant from the Department of Energy for four cellulosic ethanol projects.
Various schemes for increasing the effectiveness of solar cells through nanotech have shown great promise of late. One idea, under development by Bloo Solar, is to increase the surface area of cells by layering nano-sized “bristles” on.
Every year, the Cleantech Forum sweeps into San Francisco, an industry event including banks, corporations, startups and venture capitalists. I got to check out some of the startups presenting at the event, and found it to be an interesting mix. Sometimes it feels like cleantech is just a monotone of the same ideas: The next new solar cell, wind turbine or electrical system that can (maybe) be cheaper and more efficient than the last generation. The ten companies below, however, run the gamut of creative tech, from air recycling and filtration, to electric bike rentals, to metal-based origami.
Here’s the latest action: 1) US internet ad market is big, getting bigger 2) San Francisco, home of the carbon tax? 3) Google Maps adds user ratings to local search 4) Wal-Mart launches cleantech accelerator 5) Visits to Facebook appear to drop 6) Proofpoint raises $28 million for email security 7) Piczo suffers from walled garden approach 8) Covad could save Silicon Valley municipal wireless 9) Fundability funded for entrepreneur/investor network 10) Google joins group to build transpacific optic cable
Here in Silicon Valley, after a turbulent ride at a start-up, founders often find themselves emotionally drained (or charged) and looking for renewal.
APX, a Silicon Valley company that certifies carbon and emissions offset certificates, and which is well-placed to support carbon-trading markets when they emerge, has gotten backing from Goldman Sachs in a $14 million investment, VentureBeat has learned.
Our friends over at Earth2Tech have put together a map of 101 cleantech startups, including many of the companies we’ve been talking about over the past year or two, and some we haven’t mentioned.
Solar thermal startup Ausra has been on a roll over the past few months. Starting with an announcement that it had raised $40 million last September, the company followed up with news of a 177 megawatt project and plans to build a manufacturing facility.
Miles Electric Vehicle is a fairly well-known maker of low-speed electric vehicles, which are only good for short distances in small towns or inner city environments. However, the company plans on releasing a model that can reach highway speeds in late 2009.
If you were following the breathless headlines a few days ago, you now know that new biofuel production (i.e. more farms) from some feedstocks, including corn, likely causes more global warming than if we continued to use fossil fuels.
Pythagoras Solar is an Israel-based maker of solar photovoltaics that was started within Precede Technologies, an incubator that also has offices in Silicon Valley.
Tesla Motors is planning to raise $250 million between a public offering and debt raise, according to a Financial Times interview with the company’s chairman, Elon Musk.
If solar power is expensive in part because the materials come dearly, then use cheaper materials. That’s the design principle behind thin film solar cells, and now also behind a form of concentrated solar using plastic balloons, designed by a firm called Cool Earth Solar.
Fluorescent lighting is more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, but there’s one area in which they can’t compare. Unlike a standard light bulb, a fluorescent light can’t easily be dimmed by simply reducing the power to it.
Although it’s over two decades old, Infinia is a relative newcomer to the solar market, having only been working on its solar thermal generator for a few years.