Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

Apr 9, 2013, 11:03am PDT

VC, angel solar focus shifts as funding hits 5-year low

Solar funding by venture and angel investors hit a five-year low in the first quarter of this year.

Senior Technology Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal

Investments in the solar industry hit a five-year low in the first quarter, according to a new report, as venture funding focus shifts towards startups that do solar financing and installation.

CB Insights said there were just 18 investments in the first three months of the year that gave out $269 million. That contrasts dramatically with the nearly $3 billion in funding in almost 50 deals that came in the second quarter of 2011, just before the infamous shutdown of Fremont-based Solyndra.

Monday’s $37 million funding of Clean Power Finance is the type of activity that is more common these days. The San Francisco-based company’s revenue rose 325 percent in 2012, mostly from transaction fees earned through its online financing marketplace.

That’s because American consumers are still buying and installing solar power in growing numbers. The materials aren’t likely to be domestic, although the financing and installers are.

In another solar financing development this week, California officials told Oakland-based Mosaic that it can crowdfund $100 million worth of solar projects. The company lets state residents invest as little as $25 in projects and get paid back with interest from the revenue those projects generate.

CB Insights reports that despite the overall slowdown in solar deals, there are still early stage deals coming into the pipeline. It said that almost 45 percent of solar investments in the last year have been seed/angel and Series A fundings.

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Cromwell Schubarth is the Senior Technology Reporter at the Business Journal. His phone number is 408.299.1823.

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San Francisco, Venture capital, Startups, Solar energy



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The Daily Start-Up: Latest Solar Casualty GreenVolts Hires Comerica to Help Sell Assets

Top stories in today’s VentureWire:

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Comerica Bank has been hired to find buyers for the assets of concentrating photovoltaics company GreenVolts, the latest heavily venture-financed solar company to go up for a fire sale, a person familiar with the situation told VentureWire. Investors, who had contributed about $120 million of equity to the company, pulled the plug last month, deciding to not continue their support because of increasingly difficult market conditions, leading GreenVolts to lay off all of its 80-some employees. “We’ve created a lot of value and are trying to see if we can find a good home for the assets,” said Eric Romo, the company’s co-founder.

The venture capital fundraising picture in the U.S. didn’t change in the third quarter as most money continued to flow to a handful of funds. Thirty-seven funds held closings, down from 46 in last year’s third period, but they raised $4.73 billion versus $2.45 billion a year ago, the latest data from Dow Jones LP Source show. Fundraising for the first nine months of the year is running well ahead of last–$17.51 billion versus $12.68 billion–but only a few more funds have had closings–120 compared with 110 a year earlier. (LP Source is a service of VentureWire publisher Dow Jones & Co.)

Also in today’s VentureWire, Solar installation and leasing company SolarCity filed for an initial public offering of up to $201.3 million as it looks to build funds for broad corporate uses, in a bid to bring some good news to a clean-technology sector that has struggled to produce good returns…Pearl.com has raised $26 million in Series B funding led by Crosslink Capital, less than four months after emerging from stealth with a $25 million Series A round. It also hired a chief financial officer, Erik Zech, with public company experience. Pearl.com’s website connects people who have questions to professionals who can answer them…and LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals has agreed to merge with Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.TO -1.26% in a deal expected to deliver good returns to venture investors, after LigoCyte developed what may become the first vaccine to protect against a type of virus that causes stomach flu.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving start-ups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

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  • October 2, 2012, 5:29 PM

New York’s Cleanweb Hackathon Sparks Green Ideas Where Clean-Tech and IT Intersect

By Yuliya Chernova

Republicans driving electric cars? That’s one thing you might discover through your social networks, according to Bill Weihl, recently hired by Facebook to lead the company’s sustainability efforts.

Getty Images

Weihl was speaking on Friday night at the New York CleanWeb Hackathon, for which he flew in from Silicon Valley. It was the second such event held in New York, and one of several around the country, that’s meant to connect developers and people with business ideas to form teams and create applications that use the Web in pursuit of environmental sustainability.

On Friday night mingling in the recently opened collaborative space for start-ups AlleyNYC were people from different walks of life, each with an interest in the area or an idea. There was a psychiatrist who wanted to create crowd-funded solar projects, and someone who works in an IT department of a consumer magazine who’s interested in developing apps that would help increase the fuel economy of cars. Over the weekend, some 200 people participated in the hackathon.

By Sunday, judges picked three winners: Green Building Banner, a Google Chrome plug-in that brings energy data to consumers; Lean Green Stormwater, an online tool, which allows facility owners to calculate stormwater charges and savings under various stormwater mitigation investments; and Parkifi, a mobile app that helps users find a New York park with a Wi-Fi hotspot.

This sub-sector, alternatively called cleanweb, clean IT, energy IT, and digital cleantech, depending on who you ask, is attracting more venture investing. The web “has the potential to change our relationship with resources,” said Nicholas Eisenberger, managing partner at venture accelerator Pure Energy Partners.

Eisenberger said that he is working on a report with Cleantech Group that will show that investments in cleanweb, businesses at the intersection of IT and energy, have been growing as a percentage of all clean-tech dollars spent by venture capitalists.

Examples of such companies are Sungevity, a solar financing company that evaluates rooftop solar potential by using satellite data and allowing consumers to get accurate quotes for their projects online. With a bit of a stretch, even Airbnb, a property-rental-by-owner service online, could be considered cleanweb, said Eisenberger, because renting available empty space is more energy efficient and sustainable than building new hotels to accommodate visitors, and apartments are more energy-efficient than hotels, he said.

For Facebook FB -1.04%, the cleanweb is already a reality via a recent collaboration with OPower, a venture-backed company. OPower’s Facebook plug-in allows users to compare energy use and compete against friends and family on energy-saving practices.

“I think a lot of people would probably be surprised by how many people in their social network, actually do things that they [may have considered] fringe,” said Weihl.

Write to Yuliya Chernova at yuliya.chernova@dowjones.com. Follow her on Twitter @ychernova

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Bidding Process – Procedures for the Sale of certain Assets and Intellectual Property of AQT Solar, Inc.

Further to Gerbsman Partners e-mail of August 20, 2012 regarding the sale of certain assets of AQT Solar, Inc.., I attach the draft legal documents that we will be requesting of bidders for certain Assets and Intellectual Property of AQT.  All parties bidding on the assets are encouraged, to the greatest extent possible, to conform the terms of their bids to the terms and form of the attached agreement.  Any and all of the assets of AQT Solar, Inc.. will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis.  I would also encourage all interested parties to have their counsel speak with Stephen O’Neill, Esq., counsel to AQT Solar, Inc.

For additional information please contact Stephen O’Neill, Esq, 408 907 9200   soneill@murraylaw.com

Following an initial round of due diligence, interested parties will be invited to participate with a sealed bid, for the acquisition of the AQT Solar, Inc.’s Assets.  A sealed bid must be submitted so that it is actually received by Gerbsman Partners no later than Thursday, Sept 20th 2012 at 3 p.m.Pacific Daylight Time (the “Bid Deadline”) at AQT Solar, Inc.’s office, located at 1145 Sonora Court, Sunnyvale, CA – 94086. . Please also send an email to  steve@gerbsmanpartners.com with your bid.

Interested parties who wish to participate in the Bidding Process must also wire transfer a $ 200,000 refundable deposit to Murray & Murray Trust Account.  Information will be forthcoming.

For your convenience, I have restated the description of the Updated Bidding Process.

The key dates and terms include:

The Bidding Process for Interested Buyers

The Bidding Process for interested  and qualified parties will be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement (attached hereto as Exhibit A) to have access to key members of the management and intellectual capital teams and the due diligence “war room” documentation (the “Due Diligence Access”).  Each interested party, as a consequence of the Due Diligence Access granted to it, shall be deemed to acknowledge and represent (i) that it is bound by the bidding procedures described herein; (ii) that it has an opportunity to inspect and examine the AQT Solar, Inc.’s Assets and to review all pertinent documents and information with respect thereto; (iii) that it is not relying upon any written or oral statements, representations, or warranties of Gerbsman Partners, or their respective staff, agents, or attorneys; and (iv) all such documents and reports have been provided solely for the convenience of the interested party, and Gerbsman Partners (and their respective, staff, agents, or attorneys) do not make any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the same.

Following an initial round of due diligence, interested parties will be invited to participate with a sealed bid, for the acquisition of the AQT Solar, Inc.’s Assets.  A sealed bid must be submitted so that it is actually received by Gerbsman Partners no later than Thursday, Sept 20th 2012 at 3 p.m.Pacific Daylight Time (the “Bid Deadline”) at AQT Solar, Inc.’s office, located at 1145 Sonora Court, Sunnyvale, CA – 94086. . Please also send an email to  steve@gerbsmanpartners.com with your bid.

Bids should identify those assets being tendered for in a specific and identifiable way.  The attached fixed asset list may not be complete and Bidders interested in any fixed assets must submit a separate bid for such assets, be specific as to the assets and any sale of the fixed assets or Intellectual Property of AQT Solar, Inc.

Any person or other entity making a bid must be prepared to provide independent confirmation that they possess the financial resources to complete the purchase where applicable.  All bids must be accompanied by a refundable deposit check in the amount of $200,000 (payable to AQT Solar, Inc.). The deposit should be wired to AQT’s attorneys Murray & Murray, a Professional Corporation. The winning bidder will be notified within 3 business days of the Bid Deadline.  The deposit will be held in trust by Company’s counsel.  Unsuccessful bidders will have their deposit returned to them within three business days of notification that they are an unsuccessful bidder.  AQT Solar, Inc. reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, accept or reject any bid, or withdraw any or all assets from sale.  Interested parties should understand that it is expected that the highest and best bid submitted will be chosen as the winning bidder and bidders may not have the opportunity to improve their bids after submission.

AQT Solar, Inc. will require the successful bidder to close within a 7 day period. Any or all of the assets of AQT Solar, Inc. will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis, with no representation or warranties whatsoever.  All sales, transfer, and recording taxes, stamp taxes, or similar taxes, if any, relating to the sale of the AQT Solar, Inc. Assets shall be the sole responsibility of the successful bidder and shall be paid to AQT Solar, Inc.’s at the closing of each transaction.


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The Daily Start-Up: AQT Solar Looks to Sell Off Assets, IP

Top stories in today’s VentureWire:

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

AQT Solar has joined several other small private solar manufacturers in search of a partner or an acquirer, as conditions in the market continue to deteriorate for such companies. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which raised about $32 million in equity since founding, retained Gerbsman Partners to handle the sale of its assets and intellectual property, VentureWire has learned.

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