Green activity continues at a torrid pace, from expansion by green investors like Vinod Khosla into bigger offices, to the embrace of green business models by struggling telecom companies. Are we getting a little heated?
Khosla finally leaves Kleiner nest — Vinod Khosla (pictured left), one of the most successful venture capitalists during the telecom boom of the late 1990s, split from venture firm Kleiner Perkins a couple of years to go out on his own, launching Khosla Ventures. Until now, though, he’d stayed in a back office of Kleiner Perkins’ digs on Sand Hill Road. Now, having hired several partners, and adding two more employees recently, Khosla is finally leaving — into bigger offices. He’s making way for Steve Westly, the former eBay exec and state Controller, who is taking over the back office with his new investment firm. All three — Kleiner, Westly and Khosla — are targeting green technologies.
And when the big guys go green, so do lots of others — Zolo Technologies, once a struggling optical communications companies, has reinvented itself as a clean technology company. The Boulder, Colo. company just raised $12.5 million more from its original Silicon Valley investors Canaan Partners, Crescendo and Morgenthaler, among others, to help it sell sensors that make coal-fired power plants more efficient.
Targeted Growth raises $22.3 to boost yield for fuel crops — The Seattle company has patents for technology that boosts the yields in crops such as corn, soy and canola, so that production of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel doesn’t hog as much of the human food supply.
Nicely colored fluorescent bulbs? — Several people reading our recent piece about the energy benefits of fluorescent blubs complained about their bluish-white color. Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, who is proposing legislation to phase out regular incandescent bulbs, responds that Wal-Mart and Home Depot carry plenty of colors to “please just about anyone.”
Green limousine service arrives in Silicon Valley — PlaneTran, a Boston company, has just opened operations in the valley to allow executives to call up a hybrid Prius to chauffeur them around, to the airport or on other tasks — instead of a regular limousine, which can guzzle up to four times as much gasoline. Here’s the story.