After nine-years, an IPO and $125 million in venture funding, Solazyme is finally ready to break into biofuels in a more commercial way: this week Solazyme announced the ground-breaking of a biofuel plant in Brazil through a joint venture with Bunge.
What most people don’t realize is that a chunk of the crude oil that goes into an oil refinery doesn’t end up anywhere near a car’s fuel tank. It ends up making chemicals.
It’s been hard to avoid the elephant in the room at the fourth annual National Clean Energy Summit. While the clean energy industry was eager to talk about the latest cleantech breakthroughs, the reality is that the industry is facing a difficult near-term funding future.
Four-year-old OPX Biotechnologies, which uses genomics to make biofuel production more efficient and economic, is in the process of raising a $45 million round, and has closed on $37 million of that funding, according to a filing.
Despite the fact that cleantech investment fell off a cliff in the first quarter of the year, talk of the “seeds of revival” (i.e. investment) is starting to creep back into both clean power projects and cleantech ventures thanks to the funds from the stimulus package. While layoffs are still hitting industries like solar and wind, and biofuels are struggling across the board, if this morning’s funding news is any indicator, then it looks like the federal funds are actually starting to thaw the pocketbooks of the capital holders. Just a little bit.
This morning we’ve heard about three different cleantech investments in smart grid, distributed clean power and even, gasp, next-gen biofuels. GE and a group of investors including Altira, Rockport Capital Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners, and the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures, have invested $10 million into small wind builder Southwest Windpower. The stimulus package allocates $872 million over 10 years for federal tax credits for distributed clean power generation like small wind.
Read More about Stimulus Starting to Warm Up Cleantech Funding
Quick, where’s that important note you need right this second? If it’s in Google Notebook, you might want to consider looking at Zoho. They’re taking a page right out of Google and seizing an opportunity. Last week Google announced they were shutting down several services: Jaiku, Google Video, and Dodgeball to name a few. Google Notebook is on the list as well, although it’s not shutting down at this time. It won’t see any additional development however, nor will the browser extension work with it. Effectively, you could keep jotting notes with it but without an expected future for the application or usable plug-in, do you want to?