MESH City Technologies Lead Green VC Investments

Drive-Switch-Go by better place.

These green-tech investments were completed last month (from Eric Wesoff at Cleantechmedia):

Solar Power

Reel Solar (San Jose, California) raised $15 million in venture funding according to an SEC form D spotted by Smart Energy News. The stealthy thin-film PV firm’s investors include Pangaea Ventures, Nth Power, and Mayfield Fund.

The Pangaea website describes the company as having “had developed a proprietary ultra-low-cost solar manufacturing technology.” (Past tense is theirs.) It looks like the firm is working with cadmium telluride (CdTe). The company recently moved into a 57,860-square-foot research and development building in North San Jose, expanding from its previous facility of about 6,000 square feet, according to a report in the San Jose Business Journal. Azure Power, an independent solar power producer deploying grid-connected, megawatt-scale solar deployments across India, just raised $13.6 million from German investor DEG, according to VC Circle. Skyline Solar (Mountain View, California) collected approximately $1 million from Firsthand Technology Value Fund for its low-concentration photovoltaic (CPV) system. Morgan Solar (Toronto, Ontario) raised $9.8 million from Enbridge to close its most recent funding round at $29 million. The firm builds high concentration PV systems. Solaria raised $30 million from CMEA, DBL Ventures, et al. Previous investors in the low concentration PV startup include Sigma and Moser Baer. Enphase (Petaluma, California), the leading microinverter firm, drew down $20 million of an $80 million convertible debt facility, according to its recently amended S-1.

VC Investment in Transportation

Better Place (Palo Alto, California) scored $200 million from their investors in a Round C (bringing total VC funding to date to $750 million) to launch its grand vision of car transportation-as-a-service, along with battery swapping. The company states that the its valuation is “$2.25 billion (post money valuation on a fully diluted basis).” New investors in the round include GE and UBS AG, among others. Existing shareholders, including Israel Corp., HSBC Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Ofer Group and Maniv Energy Capital, also joined the round. KLD Energy Technologies (Austin, TX) completed a $10 million convertible debt offering from an undisclosed source. Total funding since its 2008 founding is $26 million for the firm developing an electric motor system for scooters and motorcycles. RelayRides (San Francisco, California), a peer-to-peer car sharing service, closed a $13 million round A from GM Ventures, Google Ventures, August Capital, and Shasta Ventures.

Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency

Power Assure (Santa Clara, California) added a $1M investment from Virginia utility Dominion Energy to its recent $13.5 million round B financing led by industry powerhouse ABB, along with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Good Energies, and Judith Point Capital. The firm is piloting the use of data centers for demand response and power load shifting. GaN Systems, a provider of power conversion semiconductors for cleantech applications received round A funding from Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Rockport Capital. EnTouch Controls (Richardson, TX), a provider of energy management systems for small businesses, raised a $2 million round A led by Trailblazer Capital. Retroficiency (Boston, Mass.) works with real estate data analytics software to better target cost-effective efficiency retrofits. The firm closed a $3.3 million round A from Point Judith Capital, along with the acquisition of Clean Energy Solutions (CES) division of NexAmp, a company with software designed to parse power meter and utility data. Powerhouse Dynamics (Newton, Mass.), which builds high-end home energy monitoring systems and is refocusing on helping small commercial buildings manage their electricity, raised $3 million in round A funding led by SOSventures.

Greentech VC Investment in Water, Green Chemicals, etc.

Rivertop Renewables (Missoula, Montana) a maker of renewable bio-based detergent builders and corrosion inhibitors, won $1.5 million in bridge financing from Cultivian Ventures. Soraa (Fremont, California), backed by Khosla Ventures and NEA, raised $88.6 million for lasers, LEDs, and energy-efficient lighting. Soraa is founded by UCSB professor and highly regarded lighting expert Shuji Nakamura. eRecycling Group (Irving, California) raised $35 million in equity financing for resale and recycling of old wireless phones. The firm has received financial backing from SJF Ventures in the past. Amplio, a water filtration platform, raised $21.5 million from Ambienta.

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