The Cleantech Group, the green technology event, research, reporting and consulting company, is having a big week. The first of five annual Cleantech Forums is taking place right now in San Francisco, drawing green investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. And today, the Bay Area company took the stage to announce its own news: a $3.2 million third round of funding that will be used to expand its reach and portfolio of services.
Today, the Group focuses mostly on industry research, which it sells to companies, government agencies and investors, and coordinating events that bring all the most important cleantech players into the same room. But it’s slowly been expanding into breaking news reporting — making it an indirect competitor to VentureBeat — and business consulting, advising companies about how best to grow within their market sectors. New members have already been added to the executive team to expedite this expansion — including the appointment of Sheeraz Haji (a speaker at VentureBeat’s November GreenBeat conference) as president.
The Cleantech Group’s goal is to tackle the biggest challenges standing between green innovation and wide adoption. So it’s appropriate that the theme of this year’s first Cleantech Forum is how to scale the best green developments in existence today. This has been an ongoing hurdle in almost every niche of the cleantech sector, from the Smart Grid, to solar and wind power to water filtration and distribution. It’s a problem that ties together public and private financing with government regulation and R&D.
While its consulting business is still young, the Group says it has already provided expertise to companies like Autodesk and Veolia Environnement, a water, energy and waste management company that has a major announcement coming out this afternoon at the Forum. The company will leverage its market research infrastructure and expanding patent database to help these clients shape their strategies.
The Cleantech Group will also be adding two events to its annual circuit. Continuing to grow its global focus, it will host one in Boston in June that looks at how Indian and Chinese companies are establishing footholds in New England, and will host an energy efficiency-based conference in Chicago.