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While politicians spend plenty of time arguing over education, parents and students seem to be resigned: Public school just doesn’t cut it. As demand for alternate instruction rises, new Internet offerings are blooming. The latest is Brightstorm, which today announced $6 million in first-round financing from Korean investor KTB Ventures.
AMEE, short for “Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine”, calls itself a platform to track “all the energy data on Earth.” That’s an ambitious goal, but the company is better known for simply tracking CO2 emissions and helping others to reduce their energy consumption.
Usually when a startup classifies itself as a biofuel company, it makes one of two fuels: biodiesel or ethanol. However, there’s a range of alternatives that could be commercialized, one of which Cobalt Biofuels is after: biobutanol, a liquid fuel that is more similar to gasoline than ethanol.
Craig Venter is famous for discovering and modifying microorganisms, but his biofuels company, Synthetic Genomics, plans to take the research a step further by sequencing the genome of the oil palm plant.
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Online event-listing portals have been trying for a long time to get a cut of ticket sales. One of them, Eventful, seems to have finally gotten the Grail: a partnership with Ticketmaster, one of the world’s largest ticketing companies.
Transbiodiesel, an Israeli biodiesel startup that has a unique technology to produce the fuel, has taken $1.5 million and signed a cooperation agreement with an unnamed large United States biodiesel company, according to Globes.
The Northeast has a new solar energy integrator, the type of company that designs, installs and operates solar systems, with the merger of Solar Works and SolarWrights by private equity firm Riverside Partners.
General Electric seems to be covering its bases when it comes to solar power. The company, which four months ago bought a controlling stake in thin-film solar panel maker PrimeStar Solar, has added concentrating solar to its portfolio with a $2.5 million bet on Soliant Energy, based in Monrovia, Calif.
Conspiracy theorists will love this one: A computerized assistant that can help you manage your day to day life, built atop an artificial intelligence platform developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the United States’ internal military research group. Siri, the startup building the assistant, is today announcing $8.5 million in venture funding.
ISE, a bus manufacturer located in Poway, Calif., has raised $5.5 million of a planned $25 million fourth round of funding, according to peHUB.
In a sign investors may be warming up again to the residential and commercial photovoltaics market now that Congress has finally approved the extension of renewable tax credits, Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Standard Solar has secured $8.5 million in second round funding from Truecast Capital and a number of private and institutional investors.
In many ways, commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production still seems a long way off. It’s still marked by high costs and low efficiencies. But these limitations haven’t dissuaded prominent investors from taking the plunge, with VCs like Khosla Ventures pouring over $400 million into startups like Verenium, Mascoma, Range Fuels and Coskata in recent months.
If you start looking for waste in industrial processes, it’s usually not hard to find. Industrial Origami got started by looking at items like boxes, bins, shipping equipment and server enclosures, and figured out a way to reduce material usage in those items.
GangaGen is a biotech company that’s working on bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria. The company raised $1.8 million to develop treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections like pneumonia and MRSA, a skin infection that plagues hospitals.
EcoMotors, a company that was unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, raised $5.25 million in its first round of funding, according to peHUB. The raise from Khosla Ventures was reported when the company launched, but the amount was not disclosed.
Redwood Systems, a Danville, Calif.-based firm that wants to help businesses conserve energy by converting to LED lighting, has raised $4 million in first round funding, according to PEHub.
As badly as the rest of the business world seems to be doing, renewable energy just keeps picking up steam. There has been a string of recent financings going to solar panel makers, financiers that help consumers and businesses buy solar installations, and now solar thermal company Ausra.
Zvents, a San Mateo, Calif. company that has been building an events-based search engine for several years, must be on the right track: It just raised $24 million from a set of investors including Nokia Growth Partners, AT&T and NAVTEQ.
As the rest of the economy tanks, the cleantech sector has remained buoyant, with investors continuing to dump cash into wind, solar and other renewable energies. Banking on a recent wave of enthusiasm for wind power, Barre, Vt.-based Northern Power Systems announced that its parent company, Wind Power Holdings, has raised $37 million in first round funding.
Another solar-as-a-service company, part of a growing industry that helps to install and operate solar panels, is ballooning in size. Solar Power Partners, a Mill Valley, Calif. startup that only had $6 million in funding a year ago, is announcing that it has reached $100 million in funding with some $60 million more available for project financing.
Carrier ethernet company Turin Networks has taken a large investment from Millenium Private Equity, according to VentureWire, likely representing 20 to 25 percent of the company.
Vancouver, Canada-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Systems is the latest in a series of companies to make its business converting waste into useful products — in this case by removing nutrients, like phosophorus, from wastewater and recycling them into fertilizer. The water treatment firm has just raised $10.5 million in private equity financing from VantagePoint Venture Partners and Foursome Investments Limited.
The Department of Energy (DoE) has been conspicuously doling out grants left and right to support several clean energy initiatives in recent months. The latest beneficiary, to the tune of $1.7 million, is the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which will use the funds to develop and test advanced water power technologies.
While the overall economy may be in a bad spot, investments in green funds and renewable energy startups are showing little sign of waning, with solar firms like SoloPower, Nanosolar and AVA Solar leading the way. Its financial prowess may not match that of its better established competitors, but Charlotte, North Carolina-based Sencera isn’t doing too badly either, capping a second round of funding with $15.6 million from Quercus Trust.
Verimatrix, a company that develops software and equipment to keep cable television from being illicitly intercepted by non-paying customers, has raised a third round of funding.
San Francisco, Calif.-based Utopy makes a software package called SpeechMiner, which allows companies to analyze customer audio to discover market trends and behavior.
InMage Systems, a data backup and recovery company that serves small and large enterprises, has raised $15 million in a round led by Intel Capital.
Liquid cooling company Asetek, based in San Jose, Calif., has raised $16 million in its second round of venture funding.
ForteBio is a Menlo Park, Calif. company that makes instruments for biomolecular analysis in the life sciences. Its instruments can measure proteins, DNA, RNA and other small molecules without the use of labels.
It’s difficult to nail down exactly what Sustainable Spaces does, because the San Francisco company seemingly has its fingers in every aspect of home construction and retrofitting. The company does everything from testing for leaks and dangerous gases, to replacing lighting with more efficient bulbs, to installing solar panels.
GridPoint, one of the largest of the smart grid startups, who aim to more intelligently distribute energy across the electrical grid, has more than doubled up on its prior funding with $120 million. Along with the new money, it has bought out V2Green, which makes software for electric vehicles to efficiently plug into the grid.
South San Francisco, Calif.-based KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, which develops non-human antibodies for use in human bodies, has taken $20 million in its fourth round of venture funding.
Connectiva Systems, a New York, NY-based telecommunications software company, has raised $17 million from NEA – IndoUS Ventures, IFC, SAP Ventures and Ovation Capital.
Pentadyne Power, a Chatsworth, Calif.-based developer of flywheel energy storage systems, has just closed a $22 million financing round, led by return investors. The company didn’t disclose the identity of its backers though it has previously received support from Rustic Canyon Partners, Loudwater Investment Partners, Nth Power, Energy Innovation Portfolio and others.
Datamonitor points to IT budget freeze — Major sector analyst Datamonitor says that half of IT organizations around the globe will cap spending levels next year.
GreenVolts, a San Francisco company taking the approach of focusing large amounts of sunlight onto small, high-efficiency solar cells — called concentrating solar photovoltaic (CPV) — has raised a significant $30 million funding from the giant venture firm Oak Investment Partners.
It may not sound as impressive as Fisker Automotive’s whopping $65 million haul, but Brammo‘s $10 million first round, led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Best Buy Venture Capital (yes, you read that correctly) and others, is nothing to sneeze at. The Ashland, Ore.-based developer of the Enertia, a lightweight GPS-equipped, web-enabled electric bike that gets 35-45 miles per charge, says that the proceeds will be enough to allow it to go into production and deliver its first full product line, according to PEHub.