The Week in Cleantech – March 18 – 24
The cleantech community gathered in San Francisco last week, with entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, and country delegations from around the globe descending on the city by the bay for our eleventh annual Cleantech Forum. We hope you won’t mind us shamelessly tooting our own horn, but this year’s Forum was one of our best. Distinguished speakers including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Google’s Rick Needham, and outside-the-box architect William McDonough gave inspiring speeches, while sector-focused panels and investor pitch sessions occasioned important face-to-face meetings between clean technology innovators and the folks with the capital needed to scale the technologies and business models at the cutting edge. We hope you’ll join us April 16-18 at Cleantech Forum Europe in Bilbao for more of the same. Register today!
The party didn’t stop deals from getting done, as we saw several exciting announcements during the week. The Westly Group announced the close of a new $160 million all-cleantech venture capital fund, constituting a doubling-down on the sector just as many VCs are turning away. Israeli venture firm Terra Venture Partners joined in, announcing a first close of $50 million on a cleantech fund targeting cleanweb plays.
There were two exciting initial public offerings during the week. First, Asetek, a developer of an energy-efficient liquid cooling system for data centers, made its debut on the Oslo Stock Exchange, raising $32.8 million and setting its investors, including Northzone Ventures and D.E. Shaw Group, up for a positive exit. And on Friday, Greencoat UK Wind raised $395 million in its IPO on the London Stock Exchange. This first-of-its-kind fund targets new build wind projects and acquisitions of existing wind farms to provide liquidity to project developers, as well as exposure to wind generation for the every-day investor.
In venture capital, we saw several interesting deals during the week, across diverse sectors. Leading the way was Liquid Robotics, a developer of an autonomous unmanned marine vehicle powered by solar PV and wave energy, with a $45 million Series E round from VantagePoint Capital Partners, Riverwood Capital, and Interwest Partners.
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