Oregon’s local electric motorcycle startup Brammo has closed on $28 million in funding, led by Polaris Industries, which makes sporting vehicles like ATVs. About a year ago we reported that Brammo was looking to raise $30 million, so this is the close of that funding.
The ARPA-E summit this week was flush with startups looking for government grants and VC dollars — and some looking for both. Energy-storage startup Sun Catalytix, which just won $4 million from ARPA-E in January, now plans to seek a new round of venture capital, Sun Catalytix director (and Ethernet inventor) Bob Metcalfe told us in an interview. The Cambridge, Mass.-based startup already has raised $3 million in seed funding and hasn’t yet determined the amount of its Series A round, but Metcalfe said it would be in the “single digit millions” as the ARPA-E contract is helping it keep its capital needs down.
The idea behind the technology, developed by Dan Nocera at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is to use an intermittent source of energy, such as solar power, to split water into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis. When the energy is needed, the hydrogen and oxygen can either be recombined to produce electricity, such as with a fuel cell, or the hydrogen can potentially be converted into a liquid fuel, like ammonia, and used to power vehicles.
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Google (s goog) has recently opened up its API for Google Analytics, which promises to usher in lots of useful applications and widgets for those of us who rely on it for monitoring site traffic metrics. One of the first of these, Polaris, is an easy to use widget that you can keep right on your Windows, Mac or Linux desktop for slicing and dicing Google Analytics data. I installed it in less than five minutes and although it doesn’t add new statistics to the metrics Google supplies, it’s very easy to flip in and out of, and handy to have.
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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.
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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?