E-commerce investments have popped sharply up in recent years (analysis)

The e-commerce industry has broadened in scope in recent years. Originally confined to transaction activity between large financial institutions, e-commerce then expanded in the 1970s and 1980s to include what was termed “EDI” (Electronic Data Interchange) between large companies who could afford the dedicated computing power and related IT department.

Smart grid startups compete for highly variable venture funding

Venture capital industry interest and investment in smart grid startups has been up and down over the past five years, ranging from a peak of nearly $316 million in 2009 to around $100 million or less in 2011 (as of the end of September). There’s reason to be optimistic about the future growth of the sector, however. Powerful fundamental factors — the shift to cleaner, renewable energy sources and market deregulation among them — continue to support growth, as do smart grid proponents and technology providers.