Cleantech VC and the state of the IPO market

Of greatest concern is that as financing for cleantech gets tight, the brightest startups will struggle to find early stage capital and those companies nearing the path to commercialization will find it hard to find scaling capital.

Today in Cleantech

Ernst & Young released their cleantech venture capital numbers for the third quarter this morning, and the news was surprisingly positive with both deals and dollars invested seeing increases over the second quarter. That said, there are a number of subsidy program expirations, ranging from the end of the DOE loan program to next year’s sunsets on the production tax credit (PTC), that will shape how VC views cleantech investing in the future. There were no cleantech IPOs this quarter, despite filings from the likes of Silver Spring Networks and Mascoma, as the overall market volatility is making exits in public markets difficult right now.

When green government awards aren’t a leg up

Greentech has been like few other sectors in terms of its high reliance on government support. But, at the same time, a variety of companies are finding that accepting government support can sometimes be the wrong choice.

How next-gen biofuels are faring on the stock market

Next-gen biofuel and biochemical companies Genomatica and Mascoma have filed notices recently indicating that they plan to go public some time soon. But how are the other next-gen biofuel companies that have gone public in recent months now faring on the stock market? Mostly down.

Next-Gen Biofuel Cheat Sheet: Where Are They Now?

Over three years ago I put together this table on 10 of Khosla Venture’s biofuel bets. Given a couple of these companies have gone public, been sold off, or stalled, I decided to look back at these firms with this updated cheat sheet.

Oil to the Rescue: Valero Backs Mascoma

For next-generation biofuels to make any type of dent in the fossil fuel industry, oil companies will have to get on board, and here comes one to the rescue for the struggling cellulosic ethanol sector. Oil giant Valero is backing cellulosic ethanol startup Mascoma.

The Best & Worst Biofuel Startups

Amid the rubble of the first generation of biofuel projects focused on ethanol derived from corn, a new landscape of biofuel tech has taken shape. As Lux Research puts it in a report released today, the companies range “from backyard brewers to billion-dollar industrial giants,” working in five key technology categories: fermentation, gasification, synthetic biology, chemical processes, and the political darling, algae. No single category offers a silver bullet for renewable fuels. Rather, Lux finds that each of the five categories “hosts promising producers and future failures.”

Given the amount of money pouring into these technologies from both public and private sources, how can we distinguish between the likely winners and losers? Based on factors like revenue per employee, patents, performance metrics, production capacity and other data, Lux has identified gaps between long-shot ventures that would make risky investments and weak partners, and companies with disruptive core technologies and other key characteristics that make them promising targets for mergers, acquisitions or licensing deals.
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