According to a report out today from Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureSource, American venture capitalists invested 54 percent more, by dollar amount, in cleantech companies for the first quarter in 2011 versus the same period last year. The sector attracted $1.14 billion for the quarter up from $743.3 million in Q1 2010. The number of deals attracting venture capital in the sector declined… → Read More
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued Energy Star ratings for large vat commercial fryers. These appliances are used by high-volume dining establishments — like fast food chains, institutional cafeterias and full-service restaurants— to make french fries, hush puppies and anything else Paula Deen would promote, in bulk.
Encouraging the industry to upgrade to more… → Read More
One of the largest chemical companies in Asia, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. in Japan, has formed a partnership with San Diego, Calif.-based Genomatica, a sustainable chemicals startup, the companies revealed today.
Genomatica converts sugar from corn wet mills, sugar cane and sugar beet — among other sources — into butanediol (BDO), a chemical used to make everything from the plastics in… → Read More
How many apps does it take to recharge a vehicle? Apparently, one is not enough. Several companies offering mobile apps to drivers — to help them find a place to charge up or refuel in an environmentally sustainable way — made product and milestone announcements around Earth Day. Here’s the run down.
A New York-based clean tech startup, Ioxus, raised a $21 million investment from Energy Technology Ventures (a GE-NRG Energy-ConocoPhillips joint fund), Northwater Capital, Aster Capital and their previous backers Braemar Energy Ventures, the companies announced today.
In the peak of the Internet bubble, a company’s valuation– and press attention– would soar simply by whispering the words “John Doerr is an investor.” But in early Web 2.0 days, the once-everywhere venture capitalist seemed to fall off of the tech press’s radar, at least when it came to Internet investing.
But boy, has Doerr made up for lost time this year: Keynoting both of our Disrupt… → Read More
The most optimistic case is that we’re in a clump of countries leading the pack. The glass-half-empty version: Politics, boneheaded legislation and our lousy capital markets will saddle America’s culture of… → Read More
In retrospect, Tesla may have been cleantech’s Netscape moment. It didn’t get off to the world’s greatest start, but like a few other venture-backed IPOs, lately it has been trading at nearly double its opening price.
Meanwhile, a few other cleantech companies have filed S-1s and several more are waiting in the wings, watching to see what the market does. To continue the Netscape analogy, 2011… → Read More
Just ahead of today’s midterm election, California regulators established a preliminary model for a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system. The system is intended to help the state control industrial greenhouse gas emissions in aggregate in adherence with its progressive, controversial AB32 air pollution law which legislature passed there in 2006.
Currently, California requires reporting by… → Read More
Dow Jones is releasing its third quarter venture capital numbers today, and the amount of money raised was down sharply from last quarter’s heady $7.7 billion distributed across 740 deals.
In the third quarter of this year, 662 companies raised just $5.4 billion. It’s not uncommon to see a muted third quarter in the venture business due to summer vacations, but this was the smallest amount raised… → Read More
Some 1.8 billion people have internet access in the world today, but 1 billion people lack access to adequate amounts of freshwater. Harsh realities about water inspired Blog Action Day this year, an initiative led by Change.org, to rally bloggers to explore the global problem, to raise awareness and money to help solve it. The issues around water in 2010 concern scarcity, access, pollution and… → Read More
General Electric (GE) — one of the world’s largest, corporate cleantech investors and acquirers of cleantech companies — today announced its acquisition of Opal Software, which designs software and provides engineering services that help electricity, gas and water utilities run their operations and networks faster, and more productively.
Opal’s specialty is in data migration and SCADA… → Read More
The government is like that nerd who crashes a high school party. No one has any use for him….until they figure out he’s got a fake ID and can buy the beer.
Despite its liberal leanings, Silicon Valley has always been hostile to government intervention when it comes to business. We don’t ask for bailouts when things go badly and in exchange, we want private equity investing as unregulated as… → Read More
I wrote a post Sunday about the difference between cultural waves in Silicon Valley and the individual companies that come out of them. Many of the individual companies survive but the wave itself always has to crash. That’s the nature of waves. But it’s also the nature of waves that another one always comes along. I have no idea what that will be. After all, the smartest people in the Valley… → Read More
One Block Off the Grid, a company that helps residents get competitive group pricing for solar panel installation, has raised a $5 million series A round of venture capital from New Enterprise Associates. The company has gotten pretty far without formal venture cash—facilitating more than 600 installations in 2009, most of that in the fourth quarter. 1BOG, as it’s called, hopes to install… → Read More
In the State of the Union Address last Wednesday, President Obama said “the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy and America must be that nation.” At the same time, on the other coast, 75 clean energy investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers were debating whether the U.S. can gain this leadership position. They agreed that even though… → Read More
California-based Zero Motorcycles has taken $5.56M in a Series A add-on according to an SEC Report, filed today. Investors in this round were not disclosed. The company previously raised $5M in April of 2008, bringing their total funding to just over $10.6M. Formerly Electricross, Zero Motorcycles specializes in high performance electric street and dirt bikes–the Tesla of the motorcycle industry… → Read More
SHENZHEN, CHINA– One of my very early posts for TechCrunch referenced the “futurism” of 1950s Americana, where companies like Monsanto and Disney played out dreamy visions of a new automated way of living that never quite came true. I’m writing this post from Shenzhen, in Southern China—a place whose jaw-droppingly impractical-yet-beautiful architecture and building-size LED-lit… → Read More