The Week in Cleantech: Sept 2 – 8

It was an exciting week in cleantech, with key venture rounds and partnerships secured by several start-ups. Leading the week’s news, Kaiima, a developer of high-yield seed technology for biofuels and chemicals, raised a large $65 million round to bring its total paid-in-capital above $90 million. New investors Horizon Ventures, International Finance Corporation, and Infinity Group joined this round alongside existing investors. Infinity Group has suggested the funds will be used at least partially to take the company’s high plant-yield technology to the Chinese agricultural market.

Following Solexel‘s big $40 million round expansion two weeks ago for its silicon gas-to-wafer technology, Silicor Materials, another innovator in the upstream segment of silicon PV, raised $6 million in new equity from Hudson Clean Energy Partners. Silicor Materials, formerly known as Calisolar, is developing technology for the upgrading of metallurgical-grade silicon for use in photovoltaics, to lower raw material costs in the solar module manufacturing process. The company has retained the services of R.W. Baird, an investment bank, to assist it in raising additional capital for the establishment of a manufacturing facility. Other companies to have raised capital in this upstream segment of silicon PV so far during the third quarter include Bloo Solar, Persimmon Technologies, PV Nano Cell, and Vitriflex.

Finally, in an interesting partnership formed during the week, Schneider Electric disclosed Thursday that it planned to adopt AutoGrid Systems‘ Energy Data Platform, folding it into its home energy management and demand response hardware and software offerings. Founded in 2010, AutoGrid is backed by Foundation Capital, Voyager Capital, and Stanford University.

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