The Week in Cleantech: August 12 – 18

It was an exciting week in cleantech, with several venture capital investments, a couple of sizable M&A transactions, and a large fund close by a long-time cleantech investor. In venture capital, downstream solar finance company Clean Power Finance closed on an additional $20 million in equity financing, this time from unnamed funds in the United Arab Emirates. It was also disclosed that power companies NextEra Energy and Dominion were among the participating investors in the company’s most recent $42 million Series C round. The presence of those investors, as well as Duke Energy and Edison International, in the company’s list of investors marks significant utility industry support for distributed solar. 

In M&A, Maxim Integrated Products will acquire Volterra Semiconductor, a heretofore publicly traded maker of integrated power management solutions for enterprise networking and communcations, for $605 million. Prior to going public in 2004, Volterra was backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital, and Integral Capital Partners, among others. 


SolarCity has acquired solar sales and marketing company Paramount Solar in a mostly-stock transaction valued at $120 million. The deal highlights a trend of consolidation in the customer-facing downstream segment of solar sales and installation as Real Goods Solar announced two acquisitions in the space – of Syndicated Solar and Mercury Solar Systems – during the week, as well. 

Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s most venerated venture firms, disclosed via regulatory filings the closing of over $1 billion in new funds, spread across China, Israel, and US-focused vehicles. The firm’s recent cleantech investments include Sunrun (solar financing), AcousticEye (pipe inspection for energy, water, and chemicals industries), and Scodix, a delveoper of a new printing technology that uses up to 91 percent less energy than incumbent technology and reduces waste and the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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