You landed your first pitch at a venture capitalist’s (VC) office. You’ve practiced the pitch and have your laptop fired up to deliver. So, like a sprinter at the sound of the gunshot, you dive in hard and heavy to make sure you get through the deck. After all, you might only have one chance to excite them with your company’s story. Inevitably, with all the questions the
The United States is at a precipice with respect to public motivators for the green economy. Essentially, the carrot of public incentives or investment and the stick of potential mandatory regulation of carbon emissions are slated for elimination at the same time.
Although we cannot know what this two part
Shai Agassi (left) and the team at Better Place have done it again: almost two years to the day after announcing its first car partnership and its first country deployment in Israel, Better Place today announced that it has signed an agreement with an HSBC-led investor consortium for new equity financing of $350 million. The deal marks one of the largest clean-tech investments in history and values Better Place at $1.25 billion.
This Series B equity financing round features participation from new investors including HSBC, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Lazard Asset Management. These investors will join existing Series A investors including Israel Corp., VantagePoint Venture Partners, Ofer Hi-Tech Holdings, Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, Maniv Energy Capital, and Israel Cleantech Ventures, among others, as shareholders of Better Place. For HSBC, which led the round with an investment of $125 million, the deal represents one of the largest financial investments of its kind by HSBC.
As part of the deal, Kevin Adeson, HSBC Head of Global Capital Financing, will join the Better Place Board of Directors, and HSBC will own approximately 10% of the company’s shares.
During the first day of our tour of Finland’s clean tech companies, we got to meet with Kari Herlevi a Senior Business Advisor recently back in Finland after a tour in Silicon Valley with Tekes, the entity charged with executing the Finish government’s seed investment strategy in technology and innovation. Investing through grants and soft loans, Tekes offers Finnish entrepreneurs a source of capital that a dormant VC and Angel Investing industry fails to provide. Almost invariably, over the course of the ensuing three days Tekes was mentioned as a source of funding for the companies we visited.
Thank billions in government funding for helping to lift clean technology investment in the third quarter, said the Cleantech Group and Deloitte in a report Wednesday.
The quarterly analysis reiterated that the recession has kicked but not killed investments in this sector, which remain down 42 percent from the third quarter of 2008. Biotech and IT combined receive less funding than clean tech, which continues its climb from the second quarter, the report noted.
“The two largest venture deals (Solyndra and Tesla Motors) and the largest IPO (A123Systems) this quarter were all recipients of U.S. government funding,” said Cleantech Group managing director Dallas Kachan in a statement.
The future prospects of companies involved in electric vehicles continue to be greatly influenced by the support (or lack thereof) from the federal government. This week the government handed out another $300 million in funding for alternative fuel programs to Clean Cities initiatives around the country.
Of the 25 Clean Cities initiatives that received funding, 10 involved electric vehicles or vehicle charging stations. These projects will provide much-needed income to companies that produce batteries, vehicles, and charging stations. During this tight economy, even small orders such as these can provide a life line to startup companies looking for capital, as well as boost investor confidence.
Some automotive entrepreneurs are feeling like when it comes to getting DOE funding, it’s who, not what you know.
The $2.4 billion in federal funding for advanced battery and vehicle electrification announced this week boosted battery manufacturers that had prior relationships with the DOE, while some lesser-known innovators were left with hat in hand.
Matt Mattila, a consultant in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Mobility and Vehicle Efficiency Practice says the money “went to the old guard” and left out new EV companies such as Aptera where “$100 million could make or break them.”
The Obama administration is hoping that $1.5 billion will finally be enough to make the U.S. a player in the global manufacturing of advanced batteries, which until now has been dominated by Asia.
Since most of the hybrids sold to date have been from Japanese manufacturers (with Toyota and Honda leading the way), it’s no surprise that the batteries that power their electric drive trains are also mostly from Japan. However, Ford has been purchasing batteries for its Escape Hybrid from Sanyo, and GM is buying batteries from Korean company LG Chem for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt. GM had been buying batteries for its hybrids from troubled U.S.-based Cobasys, which was just acquired by Japan’s Samsung.