Jadoo isn’t quite a Silicon Valley company (it’s located just outside of Sacramento), but its fuel cell business is attractive enough to snag investments from valley-based investors. It sells alternative power for energy-hungry camera systems used by TV stations, and is also developing power technology for military surveillance systems.
Jadoo announced yesterday it had raised $11 million in a second round of funding led by valley venture firms Mohr Davidow Ventures and Venrock Associates. We know Mohr Davidow’s Erik Straser (pictured below) had been seeking a clean power investment for quite some time, because we’ve talked with him on and off about the sector for the past year. It’s just the latest example of how…
…younger partners at the valley’s better-known venture firms want to invest in the sector — which is great news. (Note: Yeah, we’re aware that folks like TJ Rodgers say that any for-profit venture is “good.”) Still, too bad there aren’t more such start-ups locally. Though Aileen Lee, a younger partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recently spoke at an AAMA seminar hosted by Cooley Godward, and noted that she’s participated in some stealth clean tech investments, and is eager to make more.
We caught up with Jadoo’s chief executive, Larry Bawden, last week who said Jadoo is one of the few companies actually shipping hydrogen-converting fuel cell technology to customers. Traditional battery technologies suffer from slow recharging and inconsistent run times, but he says Jadoo’s systems charge 75 percent quicker and don’t dissipate over time like traditional batteries do. They’ll also cost less than competing products (he’s working on pricing right now), and a full system will weigh 8.7 lbs, compared to about 20lbs for competing products, he said. When you include the military uses for the product, there’s a worldwide market of about $2 billion, he estimates. “We’re trying to take the ‘no’ answer off the table,” he adds.