Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Phoebus Energy raises $1m to develop innovative heating system

Phoebus Energy, which is developing a hybrid heating unit to more efficiently produce energy for institutions such as hotels, hospitals, and factories, has raised $1 million from the Galilaea Fund, a private investment fund, according a report in Globes.

Phoebus Energy was founded in 2007 and received a first round of $2.1 million in venture funding from Terra Venture Partners. The company and its CEO, Yoav Ben-Yaacov, were featured in Israel21c last year.

Galilaea is a strategic consultancy firm with representatives in Europe and Israel, and is managed by Lior Shilat, who served in the Prime Minister's Office as a director of the division for coordination, follow-up and control during Ariel Sharon's government.

Globes reports that in recent months Phoebus Energy has installed systems at eight sites in Israel and is negotiating with several hotel chains and hospitals in Israel and abroad for the installation of its systems.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Metrolight raises $3m, names Zvi Segal as new CEO

Metrolight Ltd., a leading provider of electronic ballast solutions for energy efficient lighting, announced today that it has raised $3 million and appointed Zvi Segal as a Chief Executive Officer.

Zvi Segal, a veteran of Orbotech Group, Applied Materials and Teledata Communication, will lead Metrolight's growth phase driven by what Metrolight says is strong demand for its energy saving products and services from commercial, industrial and municipal customers across Europe and the US. Metrolight's High Intensity Discharge (HID) eBallast reduces up to 60% of energy consumed and doubles the life of a lamp.

Existing Metrolight shareholders including Virgin Green Fund, Gemini Israel Funds, Israel Cleantech Ventures led the $3 million financing round. MetroLight raised $9 million from these investors in August 2007.

Metrolight was founded in 1996 and is based in Netanya, Israel. Metrolight's U.S. headquarters are in Franklin, Tennessee.

According to Metrolight's Chairman Yoav Leeran, "The appointment of Zvi Segal is the next logical step in building a worldwide leader in energy efficient lighting. We expect Zvi will continue building a strong business with the best portfolio of high power commercial, industrial and municipal lighting solutions. The new money raised underlines the strong belief of the founders and the investors in the product, unique technology, market potential and the management team of Metrolight."

Zvi Segal adds, "I'm looking forward to working with Metrolight's highly skilled and knowledgeable team. The commercial and industrial lighting market is set for significant growth given the energy savings offered by high power electronic ballasts. Metrolight, based on its patented technology, is well positioned to be the leader of the movement to modern energy efficient lighting systems."

"High power lighting is probably one of the very few utilities that has not yet benefited from a transition to electronic technology. Zvi Segal will lead the company to build on its success in the market in offering products and associated services that substantially reduce energy consumption for the heavy lighting users," states Shai Weiss, Partner at Virgin Green Fund.

Monday, June 1, 2009

HCL CleanTech raises $5.5m from Khosla Ventures and Burrill & Company

HCL CleanTech Ltd., a biofuels start-up based in Tel Aviv, announced today a $5.5 million Series A financing led by Khosla Ventures, Burrill & Company, and angel investor Zohar Gilon.

HCL CleanTech has developed a proprietary technology to make an old, industrially proven German process converting lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars economically attractive. According to the company, it is these fermentable sugars which are considered the gateway to advanced biofuels (biobutanols, biodiesel, jet fuel etc) and biochemicals (bioplastics etc).

"Accessing cheap sugar locked in biomass is one of the greatest challenges now faced by those pursuing renewable fuels and chemicals. HCL CleanTech's technology represents a step change in accessing these sugars, and drops into the pretreatment step of any fermentation-based process or chemical reforming technique which starts with oligosaccharides," said Burrill & Company Director, Greg Young. "We are eager to see this proven at scale, at which point it becomes immediately relevant to adjacent industries aiming to use biomass as a feedstock."

HCL CleanTech was founded in 2007 by Prof. Avram Baniel, Prof. Ari Eyal and Eran Baniel.

The Series A funds will be used for R&D in Israel and for construction of a pilot plant in the United States schedule to be completed in 2010.

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