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venture capital

Strong Funding for Solar Finance, Technology, and Startups Despite Stock Market Carnage

November 23, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Solar Financing and Stock Market

Despite solar stocks plummeting in a "bizarre confluence of contradictory events," low-cost capital, Department of Energy funding and venture capital are pouring into the market. So here is a roundup of some recent solar funding events.[read more]

Saudi Investors Join $70 Million VC Round For Solexel's Thin Silicon Solar Technology

August 18, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Technology Investment

Solexel, one of the few remaining stand-alone solar silicon startups, has completed a long-in-the-making $70 million round of funding and added Riyadh Valley Company, the VC investment arm of King Saud University of Saudi Arabia, to its list of investors.[read more]

Modest Wave of VC Funding Rolls In for Cleantech

April 18, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

It's too early to call it a rebound in cleantech venture capital. That might take an entire generation to fix itself. But, in the meantime, there's been a small surge of venture capital funding of cleantech companies in the last few weeks. Here's a quick roundup.[read more]

Cleantech Venture Capital: Why Are These Investors Smiling?

January 8, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Cleantech Venture Capital Investment

I'm going to suggest that cleantech venture capital, measured by societal impact, has been a success in 2014 and over the last few years. For the moment, I'm not going to allow conventional wisdom to intrude, and I'm going to ignore the smoking craters where most cleantech VC funds and startups once stood.[read more]

From VC to M&A, Smart Home Investments Amounted to $800M This Summer

September 7, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Various groups including startups, incumbent companies, and investors were very active in the connected and smart home market this summer, when roughly $800 million in transactions closed in the period between June and the end of August.[read more]

Failed Fuel Cell Maker Lilliputian, Cleantech VC, and Due Diligence

August 26, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

Investment, Technology, and Risk

Failed MIT spinout and consumer fuel cell startup Lilliputian Systems faces the sell-off of its assets and IP after more than twelve years of development and hype, $150 million in VC investment and dozens of press releases attesting to the strength of its portable charging technology.[read more]

Smart Investors, Not VCs, Are Funding Growth-Stage Cleantech Startups

June 11, 2014 by Rob Day

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up an analysis of early-stage cleantech venture rounds so far this year. I came away with the conclusion that very little was happening, except for in cases where a startup could perhaps be considered "cleantech" but was actually funded for entirely different reasons.[read more]

Could Cleantech Lead the Democratization of Venture Capital?

June 2, 2014 by Rob Day

Recent numbers show that there are very few early-stage venture capital check-writers in the cleantech sector right now. By the time you peel out startups that wouldn't think of calling themselves "cleantech," the numbers dwindle down to only a very few deals at that stage. But there's good news.[read more]

Will SunFunder Unlock $1 Billion in Off-Grid Solar Venture Debt?

May 29, 2014 by Justin Guay

Off-Grid Solar Venture Debt

In a recent piece on early stage cleantech investing, Rob Day of Black Coral Capital had a really excellent piece of advice, to look beyond traditional sources of venture capital. It turns out that is sound advice for off-grid solar companies as well.[read more]

Venture Capital, Family Offices, and the Drive for More Cleantech Success Stories

April 23, 2014 by Rob Day

A while back, I wrote about the role “impact investors” could play in funding the next wave of cleantech startups. This week I had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation between several such investors from the family office community and some of the smartest generalist VCs still investing in the sector.[read more]

How to Succeed as a Cleantech Startup? Transcend the Category

March 25, 2014 by Rob Day

Was Nest a cleantech startup? Was Waze? To be blunt, who really cares? Taken from the standpoint of returns-maximizing VCs, it's quite a little bit irrelevant how you might have found the investment opportunity, if you were lucky enough to be a backer of Nest.[read more]


Why Venture Capitalists are No Longer Seeing 'Green': And How the Sector Will Overcome

February 19, 2014 by Clean Energy Leadership Institute

VC and Green Investment

As a sector, cleantech did not prove to be a profitable investment for many of the venture capitalists who were zealous about the idea of a triple bottom line underlying their investments. Investment in cleantech, especially after 2005 when the price of gas hit $50 per barrel, seemed logical.[read more]

Venture Capital Deal Counting: What's Really Going On Behind the Numbers?

February 10, 2014 by Rob Day

Venture Capital Numbers

The latest PwC Cleantech MoneyTree report came out this week, and kudos to the team there for pulling together a helpful deal tally tracker. That resource, and the other tallies, provide a lot of useful insight on the current state of cleantech venture investing.[read more]

Mind The Gap: Funding Challenges For Capital Efficient Startups

December 23, 2013 by Rob Day

The venture capital model is predicated on one big concept: Investing capital in differently priced tranches over time as risk is removed from a developing entrepreneurial effort. It wouldn't make sense to invest all the capital a startup would ever need on day one -- how would you price it?[read more]

How Crowdfunding Could Impact Cleantech Entrepreneurs (And Why It Probably Won’t)

December 5, 2013 by Rob Day

Ever since the JOBS Act was enacted, there's been a lot of chatter about how crowdfunding could end up competing out venture capital as an asset category, and/or saving cleantech entrepreneurs during a time when generalist VCs have been backing away from the sector.[read more]