A Feeding Frenzy in Agriculture – Cannibalism and M&A Prey

Chris Sworder
It’s always difficult to get a big picture of the agriculture industry. It’s huge. However, two big things are important: mega-mergers and bountiful exits. Big companies In recent years, we have seen a number of mergers that would see large percentages of market share across the Agriculture & Food sector concentrated in an even smaller number of companies. Just as one small example, with this set of mergers shown on the right, 70% of the world’s pesticide market and 83%... Read More »

Corporate Strategics Off to the Races in 2015

Troy Ault
It’s off to the races in 2015 for corporate-strategic backers of innovation that drives sustainability across key resource-heavy industries. In just the first three weeks of the year, we’ve already seen more than ten venture deals exhibiting corporate participation. These include Saint-Gobain’s investment in Qivivo’s Series A for smart buildings; Swire Pacific’s investment in Green Biologics for renewable chemicals and biofuels; and internet giant Alibaba’s participation in Kuaidi Dache’s massive $600 million round for smart phone-driven transportation services. Using the... Read More »

Wanxiang’s Purchase of Fisker Highlights Increasing Chinese Cross-Border Investment

Gannon McHenry
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved Wanxiang Group’s bid for Fisker Automotive last Tuesday. The deal was a combination offer of cash and equity worth $150 million. Rather than simply incorporating the intellectual property and assets of Fisker into Wanxiang’s existing brands, the company plans to restart production of the Fisker Karma in a matter of months. Wanxiang previously bought the assets of Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, following its bankruptcy filing in October of 2012. Wanxiang believes the synergies achieved through owning both A123... Read More »

Consolidating Trends in Downstream Solar

Marie Watanabe
Last week, Vivint Solar, a Utah-based developer of residential solar PV systems, acquired Solmetric, a CA-based manufacturer of PV installation tools and software products, for $12 million. The merger will enable Vivint Solar to offer Solmetric’s flagship products such as SunEye, PV Designer, and PV Analyzer to its customers. The newly added services would help facilitate the pre-installation site assessment and the CAD process, allowing Vivint Solar to provide more comprehensive solutions to savvy solar customers. One of the top... Read More »

Gnest: $3.2 Billion!

Sheeraz Haji
Woa!!! Monday’s announcement of Google’s acquisition of Nest represents not only a key inflection point for cleantech, but also speaks volumes on the increasing importance of customers. The $3.2 billion deal marks a significant milestone for the home automation company; one that many believed the cleantech market couldn’t produce. Here at Cleantech Group, we believe that the cleantech market is essential, massive, vibrant, and desired. Based on data tracked in i3 (such as investment round amounts and participating investors), insider-sourced... Read More »

This Deal Matters: Glori Energy to Go Public through Reverse Merger

Troy Ault
On Wednesday, news hit the wires that Glori Energy, a company commercializing microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) technology for water-flooded and otherwise abandoned oil wells, would be taken public through a reverse merger with a company called Infinity Cross Border Acquisition Corp. (hereafter to be refered to as ICBA) in a deal valued at $185 million. If that name, "Infinity", inspired the same initial hope in you, dear reader, as it did in me - that ICBA might have the... Read More »

The Week in Cleantech: Oct. 7 – 13

Troy Ault
Here are some of last week's top stories: Achates Power raised a $35 million Series C round from existing investors to fund commercialization of its efficient opposed-piston combustion engines. Backers include Sequoia Capital, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, Interwest Partners, and Triangle Peak Partners. Greenwave Reality a California-based developer of home energy monitoring and control solutions, expanded its Series B round with another $8 million, bringing the round total above $19 million. New investor The Westly Group joined the... Read More »

The Week in Cleantech: Sept. 30 – Oct. 4

Troy Ault
Monsanto announced last week that it would acquire The Climate Corporation in a deal valued at between $930 million and $1.1 billion. The Climate Corp had raised around $110 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Google Ventures. The week also saw some heightened venture activity, perhaps influenced by the close of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. Two big deals stood out in the vehicle telematics space: Telogis, a California-based fleet management... Read More »

The Week in Cleantech: September 16-22

i3 Research Team
Cleantech celebrated the last week of the summer with a number of funding rounds and relationships sprinkled with a bit of bad news. Starting with the less than positive news, ECOtality, the California vendor of electric vehicle supply equipment, has filed for Chapter 11 protection and is seeking to auction off its assets. On the sunny side, Veremiun, a California developer of high-performance enzymes for us in industrial processes, was acquired by BASF for €48 million (~$62 million). The move... Read More »

The Week in Cleantech: July 8 – 14

Troy Ault
Intrexon, a developer of synthetic biology technology solutions for industries including biofuels and agriculture, filed for a $125 million IPO to be listed on the NYSE. The company, founded in 1998, recently raised $150 million in private capital in the second quarter, the majority of which came from undisclosed new investors. In another piece of positive news for the biofuels space, Heliae, an Arizona-based developer of algae production technologies, raised $28.4 million in growth equity from Salim Group, the Mars... Read More »