Thursday, 11 October 2007

Clean Sweep 18

A round-up of recent news in clean technology and cleantech investment.

Micro-power group Perpetuum has closed a £5m second round led by Environmental Technologies Fund. The investment is the second from ETF's targeted Euro150m fund. Existing investors Quester and Top Technology also joined the round.
Southampton-based Perpetuum is commercialising a range of vibration-harvesting generators which can power wireless and battery-free sensors and other applications. The firm was spun out from Southampton University in 2004.

Carbon Trust Investments and Oxford Capital Partners have led a £1.58m round in biomass conversion business Green Biologics. Existing investors from the angel community also joined the round.
The Oxfordshire-based company uses thermophile microbes to convert biomass (from agricultural waste to purpose-grown crops) into butanol. The basic fermentation tech, using clostridial bacteria, was first commercialised in 1916 to produce acetone. By optimising the process and using cheaper waste feedstock, the firm aims to reduce production costs by a factor of two or three.
Elsewhere in microbial biofuels, California's LS9 (no, not a suburb of Leeds) raised a $15m second round from Lightspeed Venture Partners and existing investors Flagship Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The firm is using synthetic biology to engineer bugs capable of producing what it calls 'renewable petroleum'.
And in a loosely related deal (it's not biofuels but it is microbial), Luca Technologies raised $20m in a round led by Kleiner Perkins and Boston-based Oxford Bioscience Partners. The Colorado-based group is working with natural micro-organisms that can convert coal and other hydrocarbons into cleaner-burning methane. As 'clean coal' goes, it's an interesting approach.

While there's been a few water purification deals lately, there's been less happening in air purification. But now French group AirInSpace has raised a Euro6bn second round from Paris-based VC Matignon Technologies and investment bank Oddo et Cie.
Founded in 2002, the firm offers microbial decontamination products for healthcare applications, and is now moving into new areas including air transport. The tech was originally developed for the Russian space programme.

Fund news
French investor Emertec Gestion is reportedly targeting Euro80m for its second clean technology fund. The group's current Euro15.5m Emertec Energie Environnement (3E) fund targets seed-stage companies in the energy and environmental industries sectors.

California-based seed investor Greenhouse Capital Partners meanwhile closed its first fund at $11m. The firm is currently considering opportunities in solar, biofuel and green building tech.

At the bigger end, New York's Braemar Energy Ventures closed its $250m fund. The firm aims to back ' the best of the new breed of energy and energy-related communications companies'.

No comments: