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In Brief

Make Our Pins Green

Greenpeace has been trying to persuade Amazon to commit to more clean power for its cloud computing service AWS, but to little avail. Now the environmentalists are turning to AWS’ big customers, like Pinterest. On Tuesday morning, Greenpeace protested outside of Pinterest’s headquarters handing out green cupcakes and calling to “make our pins green.” Other big consumer Internet users of AWS include Netflix, Spotify, Vine, Yelp, AirBnB and Reddit.

On The Web

The Verge published an indepth expose on eccentric energy and computing entrepreneur Mike Cheiky and how he’s been able to convince Valley venture capitalists to invest in his companies, despite some early questionable scientific claims. Cool Planet announced last month that it raised another $100 million (from folks like Google Ventures, BP, UBS, Goldman Sachs and others), and to which my response on Twitter was “I thought this was an April Fools joke, but looks like not.” The companies that Cheiky has founded have distanced themselves from him, and some have changed directions and business models. But the energy industry is particularly susceptible to what I once called “snake oil energy salesmen and green bamboozlers.”

Cool Planet 3

In Brief

According to Dan Primack’s email newsletter Kleiner Perkins greentech-focused Partner Amol Deshpande appears to have launched a startup called the Farmer’s Business Network. Here’s the SEC filing for it, which shows it’s raised $4.6 million (or a $6 million round) and the company’s headquarters are in Kleiner’s offices in Menlo Park. Deshpande is listed as President and CEO.

Making agriculture more efficient through IT, as well as genetics, is a hot area for investment, while traditional “cleantech” has continued to decline. Deshpande lists on his bio that he’s worked on waste energy company Harvest Power, veggie protein startup Beyond Meat, and “a stealth agricultural company,” among others.

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