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Quite a few greentech companies closed sizable funding rounds this week, and Battery Ventures is involved in three of them. Is cleantech support holding on in the venture world? Here’s what we’ve seen from Battery and others:
SolarBridge raises $25 million, series D: SolarBridge makes solar microinverters, which are miniature versions of conventional central solar inverters that are necessary for converting the direct current generated by solar panels to alternating current for feeding the grid or to be used onsite. Instead of matching a central inverter to a dozen panels at a time, each microinverter serves one panel. This design allows the microinverters to calculate and adjust the optimal energy output of each solar panel and prevents poor-performing panels from affecting the power output of the best-performing ones.
SolarBridge raised $25 million in a series D round led by Shea Ventures and including Battery Ventures, Rho Ventures and Osage University Partners. The company has raised more than $71 million to date, including a $19 million series C round last year. SolarBridge says the funding will be used to launch “new hardware and software products, increase sales and marketing efforts and expand the company’s operations globally.”
Redwood Systems raises $11.75 million, series C: Redwood Systems makes a control and sensor system for LEDs that runs over an optimized version of Ethernet cables. The company just closed $11.75 million in a series C round from investors including Battery Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners, Index Ventures and Mitsui & Co, Ltd. Japanese conglomerate Mitsui started backing the company a year ago.
Redwood Systems is four years old and some of its customers include SAP, Volkswagen, Johnson Controls and most recently, Facebook. Commercial building owners and data center operators can use Redwood’s LED system to cut the amount of lighting used throughout the building — in some cases, up to 70 percent over standard non-networked fluorescent lighting systems. LEDs are more efficient than fluorescents, but Redwood’s management system also monitors the building environment, including temperature and room occupancy, and can dim and manage the lights to help maximize efficiency.
Lighting Science Group raises $140 million: LED maker Lighting Science Group has closed on $140 million in private funding, led by private equity firm Riverwood Capital, and including Pegasus Capital Advisors. Lighting Science Group is already publicly traded on the OTC bulletin board, and over a year ago indicated that it wanted to go public on the Nasdaq and raise $150 million.
Lighting Science designs and makes LED lamps and other light fixtures for the residential, commercial and industrial market. The company has been selling LED lighting for nearly a decade and owns factories in Satellite Beach, Florida and Monterrey, Mexico.
GreenBytes raises $12 million, series B: GreenBytes makes data de-duplication storage gear, which are tools that reduce redundant data as well as store data on energy efficient storage solid state drives. The company raised a $12 million series B round from Battery Ventures and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.
“Primary storage”, or top tier storage, is comprised of hardware designed for quick data access and are usually reserved for active or just-created data. Beneath this are “secondary tiers” devoted to backup storage, archives and storage of lower priority business data. GreenBytes’ appliances are deployed close to the top tiers of storage so that fewer data trickles down to other tiers and the greater the potential cost and energy savings overall. Despite the promise of data deduplification, IT managers are still wary about it, according a GigaOM Pro report “De-Duplicating the Storage Industry” (subscription required).
Solar Mosaic raises $2.5 million: According to a filing, the kickstarter of solar, SolarMosaic has raised $2.5 million. The company is just about to launch the truly disruptive part of its business: as early as this Summer SolarMosaic plans to start offering people a way to buy into rooftop solar panel projects, and make back a return on their investment over time.
Soladigm raises close to $5 million in debt, option: Soladigm, which makes electrochromic “smart” windows that tint when electricity is applied to them, has raised $5 million in debt and options according to a filing. The startup was founded in 2007 and is based in Milpitas, Calif.