Recent Activities in Industrial Biotechnology: Investments & Relationships


Leo Zhang
The Industrial Biotechnology sector, which includes biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials, has received quite a bit of attention in recent months. Although we continue to see headwinds in technology commercialization, several recent investments have brought fresh confidence. In addition to investments, we are also seeing several active corporate partnerships, which definitely serve as significant milestones for innovative technology companies in this sector.   Last week, SGB, the California-based developer of plant oil and protein technologies, successfully raised $11 million in new... Read More »

European Corporate Innovation Power Breakfast Roundup: The Insider Perspective into European CVCs


Christopher Renna
On September 4, Cleantech Group, Silicon Valley Bank, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati co-hosted a Power Breakfast focused on European Corporate Innovation Opportunities. Kicking off the discussion with insights into global trends of European corporate partnerships with cleantech start-ups, representatives from BASF and E.ON presented on their respective investment strategies and processes. Questions followed from the 25 start-ups, investors, and corporates in attendance, with topics ranging from the specifics of the European market to the health of cleantech in Europe. Ultimately, the conversation often came back to the intricacies... Read More »

3Q14 Venture Investment in Recycling & Waste Technology: Something Old, Something New


Troy Ault
Two fundraising events in the Recycling & Waste sector piqued our interest last week. First, Finnish company Enevo raised an $8 million Series B round for its planned network of trash can sensors, which provide data on how full a garbage bin is and allow municipalities to optimize collection routes accordingly. Secondly, India-based Attero disclosed a $15 million Series C addition for its e-waste offering. The latter was noteworthy because we’ve seen other start-ups similar to Attero gaining traction recently. Shanghai-based Aihuishou raised... Read More »

Renewable Funding Goes Public


Gannon McHenry
The Great Recession brought about large financial losses, caused the tightening of credit markets, and led to a general prevalence of tax write-offs as a result of the tanking market. Diminished access to private loans, along with the increase in popularity of MLP and REIT structures, led many in the renewable energy industry to wonder if they could take advantage of these newer public financing structures. Practically unheard of just a few years ago, YieldCos have taken off in popularity... Read More »

Energy Efficiency Heats up with Healthy M&A and IPO Activity this Summer


Natalie Volpe
The Energy Efficiency sector has been home to many new entrants of late, all presumably looking to capitalize on the buzz surrounding energy management platforms, IoT-enabled devices, and decreasing LED costs. As the market gets crowded, the industry has waited to see who will emerge as the winners and who will fall short. This summer, the energy efficiency sector began to show signs of maturation with a number of exits and a wave of acquisitions from large corporates. Growth equity... Read More »

What You Need to Know to Enter China’s Cleantech Market


Leo Zhang
China has attracted much attention in recent years from Western industries looking to expand to the Far East. With rapid industrial and economic growth, the country is on a path to becoming an international powerhouse. Yet despite its upward trajectory, the nation is also home to some of the harshest environmental conditions across the globe, exemplified by heavy smog and high toxicity levels upwards of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5). Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, recently “declared war” on smog and... Read More »

The Data-Driven Transformation of the Energy Efficiency Sector


Timothy Leong
The Internet of Things, characterized by technology platforms that enable interconnection of devices, has empowered companies to design innovative technologies, especially in the Energy Efficiency sector. Companies are embracing connectivity in product design, ranging from sensors to device communication to data analytics. As a result, we have seen increasing investments in software-based companies that are reshaping traditional energy efficiency products. Examples include Jasper, Nest, and Enlighted, which have garnered interest from many investment firms, news outlets, and social media. These companies are capable of transforming the Energy... Read More »

Corporate Partnerships Help Inventys Scale-up Carbon Capture Tech


Troy Ault
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Andre Boulet, CEO of Inventys – a developer of energy- and capital-efficient carbon capture technology – after the company announced its latest round of growth funding from new strategic investor Chevron Technology Ventures, as well as existing investors, last week. The company got started in 2007 with a unique piece of technology based on the process of thermal swing adsorption. Unlike other post-combustion carbon capture technologies that use amines or chemical solvents, Inventys’ VeloxoTherm™ platform is based on a... Read More »

The Triple Bottom Line of Car Sharing


Tatiana Brunvall
Of late, the zeitgeist of Gen Y has shifted away from traditional American consumerism towards the collective mentality of adopting a “sharing economy.” Defined as a socioeconomic structure rooted in peer-to-peer sharing of assets and goods, collective consumption has become ubiquitous in many cities across the United States. Research has revealed that “more than 200 start-ups, backed by a total of $2 billion in funding, are now involved in the renting, reselling, giving or swapping of goods and services.”[1] This being... Read More »

Digitizing the Shower Experience: An Interview with SmarTap CEO Asaf Shaltiel


Eric Vermeiren
Israeli company SmarTap has developed a smart shower system that stands to revolutionize personal and commercial water use by monitoring and controlling the temperature and flow of water in a household, hotel, or commercial building. We spoke with Asaf Shaltiel, CEO and founder of SmarTap, about the future of electronic smart shower systems. What initially gave you the idea to pursue smart shower systems? (Did the idea come to you while you were in the shower?) My initial idea for SmarTap came... Read More »