Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Clean Sweep 26

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

VCT manager Matrix Private Equity Partners has invested £3m in a management buyout at environmental technology consultancy Monsal.
Mansfield-based Monsal offers a range of services to the water and waste sectors. Notably, it's the UK market leader in anaerobic digestion technology that breaks down biological solid waste into burnable biogas which is eligible for Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) subsidies. MD Aidan Cumiskey led the MBO.

Danish turbine manufacturer Emergya Wind Technologies has secured a Euro20m package led by Dutch investor AtlasInvest. London's Ludgate Environmental Fund chipped in Euro2m. Funding goes towards working capital and loan repayment.

Spanish biofuel group Ambene Biocarburantes raised Euro16m from French buyout house Demeter. Details are sketchy, but it's the third Spanish renewables investment for Demeter this year.

Swiss specialist investor Good Energies has led a $4m second round in Second Wind, a Massachusetts-based provider of software and electronics for utility-scale wind energy industry.
Good Energies has also announced the appointment of John Breckenridge as managing director at its New York office.

Mobile fuel cell developer Lilliputian Systems (no website, as far as I can find) raised an extra $20m+ from DAG Ventures and previous backers including Atlas Venture, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Rockport Capital Partners. The Massachusetts firm is developing butane-powered fuel cells for mobile electronic devices, based on tech developed at MIT with DARPA sponsorship. It previously raised a $30m third round two years ago.

Californian energy efficiency consultancy Energy & Power Solutions meanwhile raised a $20m first round from NGEN, Robeco Group and others.

Further reading
US VCs predict another active year in cleantech, according to a member survey by the US National Venture Capital Association. 80% of respondents reckon cleantech will attract higher levels of venture funding, but 61% believe the sector will be over-valued. The rush is predicted to expand beyond solar and biofuel, the largest areas for US deals so far.
Other predictions include an improving IPO market and consolidation among venture firms. More details here (link opens PDF). Rob Day critiques the findings over on his Cleantech Investing blog.

News from the University of Copenhagen on a promising breakthrough in solar tech (full paper from Nature by subscription). The 'nano flake' material can use a variety of III-V semiconductors in what researcher Martin Aagesen describes as 'a perfect crystalline structure'. The cells promise 30% conversion efficiency, around twice that of current technologies. It's being commercialised by spin-out SunFlake with seed funding from the university and SEED Capital.

And finally, best wishes to all Clean Ventures readers for a very merry Christmas and a clean and profitable 2008.
The new year will see us move to a new home and a new look, with continuing coverage of cleantech VC deals and news, plus extra features and services for UK cleantech companies and their investors. Cheers!

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