Monday, February 22, 2010

GreenRoad raises $10M from Al Gore's Generation Investment Management

GreenRoad, which is developing technologies to encourage safe and fuel-efficient driving behavior, announced today that it has raised $10 million in financing from Generation Investment Management, the investment firm co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore.

GreenRoad will use the proceeds of this financing to accelerate the deployment of its GreenRoad 360 service among existing and new customers.

GreenRoad 360, the Company's proprietary technology-based service, provides drivers and fleet managers with real-time, comprehensive and preventative feedback, analysis, reporting and coaching on drivers’ abilities, maneuvers and patterns.

According to GreenRoad, driving behavior is the largest single contributor to driving safety and fuel efficiency and costs the US and Europe over $500 billion dollars per year. A typical GreenRoad customer sees up to a 50% reduction in crash costs and up to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption within the first year. As a result, GreenRoad delivers an innovative solution that saves lives, saves fleets money in top vehicle expense categories (fuel, crash, wear & tear, insurance) and provides a cost-effective way to reduce emissions.

“We are very excited to welcome Generation, whose investment philosophy and leadership in sustainability is a perfect fit with GreenRoad,” said Dan Steere, CEO of GreenRoad. “At GreenRoad, our job is to make our roads safer and greener and we look forward to working with Generation in leading the way to cleaner, safer and more cost-efficient transportation.”

GreenRoad is headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, with sales offices throughout the U.S. and UK and an R&D Center in Or Yehuda, Israel, which has 90 employees. The company was founded in 2003 by Chief of Safety Hod Fleishman and CTO Ofer Raz.

GreenRoad has raised $48 million to date, including the present financing round, from Generation Investment Management and existing investors DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Virgin Green Fund, Amadeus Capital and Balderton Capital.

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GreenRoad raises $17.5 million in Series C funding

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AquAgro Fund acquires Kinrot water incubator

AguAgro Fund LP has acquired water technology incubator Kinrot Technology Ventures from Canada's Stern Partners Inc. in a share-swap deal, reports Globes.

Stern Partners, run by president Ronald Stern, will reportedly get a stake in AquAgro, an Israeli venture capital fund focused on innovative water and agriculture technologies, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor regulations governing Israel's Technological Incubators Program require that AquAgro inject at least $3 million into Kinrot over three years.

Stern Partners ran Kinrot for the last three years following the incubator's privatization. Under the leadership of CEO Assaf Barnea, Kinrot has invested in a portfolio of 11 cleantech start-ups and entered into strategic partnership agreements with Israel's Mekorot, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Milwaukee 7 Water Council.

B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. controls AquAgro through Gaon Agro Industries Ltd.. Gaon Holdings CEO and Gaon Agro chairman Shai Preminger told Globes, "Gaon Holdings is one of the players that, a decade ago, inscribed on its flag investment in the water and cleantech industries, through Gaon Agro. The acquisition of Kinrot turns AquAgro, which we own, into the leading Israeli investor in the water and cleantech technologies."

Related Posts:

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Kinrot incubator names Assaf Barnea as CEO

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AquAgro Fund announces launch of Aqua Lab for early stage investments

Advanced Desalination Technologies raises $4m from AquAgro Fund

CellEra raises $2 million from Israel Cleantech Ventures and BrainsToVentures

CellEra Inc., a Caesarea, Israel-based start-up developing a platinum-free membrane-based fuel cell technology (PFM-FC), has reportedly raised $2 million from German angel investor group BrainsToVentures and existing investor Israel Cleantech Ventures.

According to a German press release from BrainsToVentures and an article in the Financial Times’ German edition, both of which were originally reported by Earth2Tech, CellEra has raised $2 million and developed its first prototype.

CEO Ziv Gottesfeld, in an interview with Earth2Tech, confirmed the news and said that the $2 million is part of a larger investment round.

Gottesfeld also says that CellEra already is working with a major manufacturer and is integrating its fuel cells into backup power systems. CellEra plans to use its new cash to turn its working prototype into its first commercial product, Gottesfeld told Earth2Tech, adding that the company aims to have products ready for the market in two years.

According to the press release from BrainsToVentures, CellEra believes it can cut fuel-cell development and manufacturing costs by more than 70 percent by eliminating the most expensive material – platinum. Platinum currently costs $1500 per ounce, approximately double the price from a year ago.

Christian Sch├╝etz, a at BrainsToVentures, told the Financial Times’ German edition that he expects CellEra to introduce fuel cells for hybrid cars by 2015.

Gottesfeld refuses to speculate on when CellEra's technology would be ready for vehicle applications, but he said that CellEra's technology could work “very nicely and cost-effectively” with batteries to extend the range of electric vehicles in the future.

CellEra, founded in 2007 by CEO Ziv Gotttesfeld and VP R&D Dario Dekel, raised an inital $2 million investment from Israel Cleantech Ventures in 2008. Later that year, Roger Saillant, a fuel cell industry veteran and former CEO of NASDAQ-listed Plug Power, joined CellEra's board of directors.

CellEra's CTO is Dr. Shimshon Gottesfeld, former CTO for MTI Micro and the director of the fuel cell research program at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Related Posts:

Roger Saillant, fuel cell industry veteran, joins CellEra board of directors

Global map of cleantech startups includes five Israel-related companies

Israel Cleantech Ventures invests in CellEra, fuel cell startup

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Terra Venture Partners Israel's most active VC in 2009

Terra Venture Partners, a Jerusalem-based venture capital fund focused on seed and early-stage cleantech investments, was recently named Israel's most active venture capital investor for 2009.

According to the IVC Research Center, Terra Venture Partners made six first investments in 2009, followed closely by Carmel Ventures, Giza Venture Capital, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Magma Venture Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, which each made five first investments in 2009.

Terra Venture Partners has $25 million under management and is headed up by general partners Astorre Modena and Harold Wiener. Its initial investments in 2007 were in wind energy start-up IQWind and energy efficiency start-up Phoebus Energy. Later, Terra Venture Partners invested in Biological Alarm Systems, a start-up developing airborne biological hazards.

IVC Research Center reports that in 2009 Terra Venturea Partners invested in:
  • Linum Systems, a start-up founded in 2009 that is developing an advanced, energy efficient air conditioning technology. Linum Systems was founded by Yuval Berson and Amir Hirshfeld, two veterans of Israeli solar power company Di.S.P
  • Lithium Force, a start-up focused on providing complete solutions for electric powered transportation fleets (buses, trucks, and taxis)
  • PV Nanocell, a stealthy start-up apparently focused on the development and production of nanomaterials for the solar photovoltaic industry
  • Silentium, which is developing innovative noise reduction products and solutions
  • SmarTap, a company devloping innovative, efficient electronic water faucets
  • Wi-Charge, a start-up developing technology to enable the safe, reliable and efficient wireless transmission of power. Wi-Charge was founded in 2007 by Ortal Alpert
You can follow this link to access the original report online.

Related Posts:

Terra Venture Partners raises $15 million, makes first investments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SunPower acquires SunRay Renewable Energy for $277 million

SunPower, Silicon Valley's biggest solar panel manufacturer, announced Thursday an agreement to buy SunRay Renewable Energy, a developer of solar power plants in Europe and Israel, for $277 million.

Although based in Malta, SunRay is managed by Israelis, including CEO Yoram Amiga and Michael Barnea, Head of Legal and M&A. SunRay established a wholly-owned Israeli subsidiary, SunRay Israel Blue & White, which is working to develop 100MW of solar photovoltaic projects.

Kobi Katz, the CEO of SunRay Israel, told The Marker the sale was a vote of confidence by SunPower in the Israeli solar market.

SunRay currently has 1,200 megawatts of generating plants in development in Italy, France, Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom and Greece. SunRay is owned by its management and U.S.-based Denham Capital, which bought control of the firm for $200 million in 2007.

SunPower and SunRay originally joined forces on Montalto, the largest power plant in Italy. "Our experience working with SunPower on Montalto and several other power plants in Italy convinced us that SunRay will be joining the global solar technology, performance and quality leader for solar power plants," said Yoram Amiga, CEO of SunRay Group, in a statement.