Part of the growing trend for nearly every electronic device to be able to communicate with others, smart grid and advanced metering startup Trilliant has taken $40 million in its first official venture funding.
[Update: Lost in the press blitz about the Google.org investment was the fact that Altarock took $26.25 million in total. Advanced Technology Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Vulcan Capital all participated.] Here’s a fact: If you go outside, wherever you are, and start drilling a hole, once you get deep enough it will become very, very hot. Using that heat for electricity is the cornerstone of geothermal power, and it’s great if you can reach the hot spots — just ask Iceland. But much of that heat is difficult to reach or use, a detail that has inspired the latest investment by Google.org.
Lotame, an Elk Ridge, Maryland-based advertising startup, has closed its second funding for its social media ad platform, Crowd Control. Motto, and I quote: “Every Party Needs Crowd Control!”
A scant two months after completing a $35 million funding, Segway, makers of the innovative, self-balancing scooters known everywhere but seen almost nowhere, has taken on another $5 million.
Marrone Organic Innovations, a Davis, Calif.-based based maker of natural pesticides and weed killers, has wrapped up a $10 million second round of funding and expects a second closing of $1 million later this month. The round was led by Stuart Mill Venture Partners and Contrarian Group; returning investors included One Earth Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Wavepoint Ventures and local angel investors.
Following our report on Wednesday that Twitter will stop sending mobile SMS updates to users in countries other than the United States, Canada and India, several startups have stepped forward to say they’ll help out (for a reasonable fee).
Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility that services much of northern and central California, has announced plans to buy electricity from an 800 megawatt solar panel installation, a vast project many times the size of anything currently existing.
The latest fund-of-funds, a investment firm that puts its money into other venture firms, to close on a round is TrueBridge Capital Partners, with $310 million in new money.
One of the most highly valued biofuel startups in the country, Amyris Biotechnologies, has taken on an additional $21 million as part of its previously announced $70 million second round of funding, according to VentureWire.
AXI, a spinoff from a University of Washington research group, has taken seed funding to design algae to produce biodiesel.
Yet another solar services company — the firms that install, maintain and sometimes own the panels on houses and businesses — has gained venture funding, with New Rochelle, NY-based Aquus Energy taking an undisclosed amount.
Just as in the oil industry, drilling and engineering for geothermal projects is an expensive proposition. To help buy drilling rigs and develop its services, ThermaSource has taken a hefty funding of $41.5 million.
Want to fill up your Volkswagen or Hummer on renewables, as Arnold Schwarzenegger does? Biodiesel, a vegetable-oil based variant on petroleum diesel, is your fuel. As we pointed out last week, the fuel doesn’t get as much attention as high-tech biofuels like cellulosic ethanol and “green” gasoline. However, substances called furanics may help bring biodiesel back into the spotlight.
Ever since multi-billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens unveiled his grand energy plan for the United States last month, everyone with an ounce of skepticism has been wondering why he’s so bullish on using natural gas for transportation. True to form for the canny Texan, it soon emerged that he owns a refueling station business called Clean Energy Fuels.
A123 Systems files proposal for IPO — Lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, which aims to sell into the electric vehicle market, has filed the initial registration statement required for an initial public offering. The number of shares to be sold or price has not yet been determined.
Simbol Mining, a company that says it has a better way to collect the lithium used in today’s most advanced batteries, has taken a first round of funding.
A little over a month after opening its first 130,000-square-foot factory in Las Vegas, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ausra, a developer of utility-level solar thermal power, has raised $24.5 million in a third roundof funding from returning investors Khosla Ventures and KPCB. New investor KERN Partners, based in Alberta, Canada, also joined the round.
Don’t throw away that used mobile phone just yet — chances are ReCellular, a Dexter, Mich.-based phone recycling firm, can help find it a new home. One of the world’s leading cell phone recyclers, it has just raised $15 million in first round funding from Investor Growth Capital.
MyListo, a company offering a Facebook application that provides product reviews from your friends, has finished raising a $250,000 grant from the Facebook Fund.
A stealthy content accelerator called Nokeena Networks has raised $8.7 million in a first round of funding, with an aim to sell a hardware appliance that will better process and transmit video across networks.
While most agree that LEDs will someday replace compact fluorescents as the energy-efficient lights of choice for homes and businesses, that day often seems far off. LEDs, which emit light from a semiconductor chip instead of interaction with a gas, have always been bulky and expensive, and the illumination they give off isn’t exactly mood lighting. But recently, it has begun to look like lighting companies may overcome those problems more quickly than anticipated.
Verenium, a Cambridge, Mass. biofuel maker, has formed a partnership with oil giant British Petroleum and taken on a $90 million investment from the latter company to develop its cellulosic ethanol process.
Virtual world creator Six Degrees Games has taken $7 million to develop a world for six to 14 year old children with a sports theme. The funding is the company’s first.
BPL (Better Power Lines) Global is a Pittsburgh, Penn. company that makes software and equipment for utilities in order to manage and monitor the grid, and help integrate in renewable energy sources.
Innolume, a diode laser manufacturer co-based in Santa Clara, Calif. and Dortmund, Germany, has raised $13.4 million (€8.6 million euros) in its third round of funding.
Thin, flexible display tech is one of those advances that has been just over the horizon since the Internet bubble started inflating. Remember the promises of e-paper — a crossbreed with the best qualities of both paper and computer screens, used as portable reading material? So far the best we’ve gotten is the Amazon Kindle, but Plastic Logic is hoping to change that, with a plan for commercialization next year.
Xoft, a Sunnyvale, Calif. company with an X-ray radiation treatment used for breast cancer and endometrial cancer, has raised a fifth round totaling $25 million, according to VentureWire.
Versant Ventures, a Menlo Park, Calif. venture firm that specializes in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, has raised $500 million for its fourth fund to date.
Entone, a company that sells a set-top box for Internet television that can distribute video to three different TVs at once, has raised $14.5 million in a second round of financing.
Some plastics, like high grade steel or aluminum, are just too good to toss in the dump. But for years that has happened to them anyway, for lack of good recycling technology.
Reports in years past have suggested that Google, like Intel, Motorola and other large tech companies, might open an internal venture capital fund to invest in startups. The idea has never come to fruition, but a brief in this morning’s Wall Street Journal says that discussions are on once again.
Like.com, a search engine that analyzes images for useful shopping information, has raised double digit millions in venture capital from Silicon Valley venture firm Menlo Ventures.
FTL Solar, a New York-based maker of thin-film solar cells, has secured $250,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In total, the company has received over $450,000 in funding from NYSERDA for R&D efforts.
H2scan, a Valencia, Calif.-based maker of hydrogen sensing devices, has received $4 million in fourth round funding from Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, H5 Capital, Tri-Strip Associates, TGB Partners and Ravinia Venture Fund. Members of the Tech Coast and Pasadena Angels also joined the round; all but TGB Partners are returning investors.
When we talk about concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), it’s the lenses, mirrors and tracking systems that focus sunlight onto solar cells that get all the attention. But why not the cells themselves? A little-discussed handicap in CPV is the near-monopoly two public companies, Boeing’s (BA) Spectrolab and Emcore (EMKR), enjoy on high-efficiency cells.
BT, the dominant British telecommunications company, has acquired Ribbit, a company that has styled itself “Silicon Valley’s first phone company,” for $105 million.
Ethanol production has proved to be both cost and energy intensive, distilled with basically the same methods used in biblical times. The latest effort to crack that problem is by Northwind Ethanol, which claims that its low-cost method can efficiently make ethanol using feedstocks like sawdust and switchgrass.
Venture capital is streaming to India. The latest fund to add its chips to the pile is Accel Partners, a successful Palo Alto firm that already has outposts in the United Kingdom and China.
Waste Remedies, a St. Louis, MO-based firm that helps businesses reduce their waste management costs and inefficiencies, has secured $7.25 million in second round funding from Advantage Capital Partners, working in partnership with Southwest Bank.
Coming in as the largest solar energy IPO since the debut of First Solar (FSLR) on the stock market, New Hampshire-based GT Solar (SOLR) priced its 30.3 million shares at $16.50 each this morning.