DBL Investors http://www.dblinvestors.com Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:09:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 OPX Bio Wins $2M DOE EERE Grant http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/opx-bio-wins-2m-doe-eere-grant/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/opx-bio-wins-2m-doe-eere-grant/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:09:43 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1990

Energy Department Announces $10 Million to Develop Innovative Bioenergy Technologies

February 20, 2015 — 1:23pm

The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announces the selection of seven projects across the country to receive up to $10 million to support innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development.  These projects will support BETO’s work to develop renewable and cost-competitive biofuels from non-food biomass feedstocks by reducing the risk associated with potentially breakthrough approaches and technologies.

  • Metabolix, Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts), in collaboration with North Carolina State University, will receive up to $2 million to develop a non-genetically modified, non-food feedstock, Camelina sativa, with significantly increased seed yield and oil content to maximize oil yields per acre, thereby enabling the widespread use of a currently underutilized non-food feedstock.
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington), in collaboration with MicroBio Engineering Inc., will receive up to $900,000 to develop a process to produce microalgae directly from CO2 in air at high productivities, thereby decoupling algal growth from CO2 sources.
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), in collaboration with the University of Alabama and Green Biologics, Inc., will receive up to $1.2 million to develop a cellulosic butanol production process with high productivities, yields, and carbon conversion through novel metabolic engineering of two different pathways.
  • The University of California, Riverside (Riverside, California), in collaboration with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and CogniTek, will receive up to $1 million to further develop a co-solvent pretreatment for high yields of clean fuel precursor fractions that can significantly improve downstream chemical catalytic upgrading to final biofuel additives.
  • OPX Biotechnologies (Boulder, Colorado) will receive up to $2 million to develop the production of cost-competitive C8 fatty acid derivatives (which can readily be converted to high-performance lubricants and synthetic oils) from cellulosic sugars via novel metabolic engineering pathways.
  • Kiverdi Inc. (Berkeley, California), in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will receive up to $2 million to further develop processes and genetic tools to produce hydrocarbons in previously unengineered bacteria that directly utilize biomass-derived syngas for growth.
  • The Gas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, Illinois), in collaboration with W.R. Grace and Company and Michigan Technological University, will receive up to $1.4 million to develop a process to catalytically convert biomass and methane into hydrocarbon liquid fuels and chemicals at high yields, while simultaneously decreasing hydrogen consumption.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates the development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE’s work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biofuel conversion technologies.

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Business Conservation Coalition Hails Designation of Three New National Monuments http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/business-conservation-coalition-hails-designation-of-three-new-national-monuments/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/business-conservation-coalition-hails-designation-of-three-new-national-monuments/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:49:48 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1988 Business Conservation Coalition Hails Designation of Three New National Monuments


Washington, D.C. – The Conservation for Economic Growth Coalition, a new advocacy group made up of high-profile CEOs and investors today congratulated President Obama on the upcoming designation of three new national monuments at Browns Canyon in Colorado, Honouliuli in Hawaii, and the Pullman historic site in Illinois.


Coalition co-chair Nancy Pfund, founder of DBL Investors, a venture fund that invested early in Tesla and Solar City, said: “These new monuments are prime examples of the expansion of recreational opportunities so important to the growth and culture of entrepreneurial, job-creating companies in the United States.”


Venture capitalist and co-chair Tom Baruch, founder of CMEA Ventures, a fund that invested in companies like Flextronics and InterMolecular, said: “When venture capitalists analyze an investment opportunity, the probability that the company will be able to recruit the best and brightest to help the company grow is critical to our decision. We have found that access to first-class outdoor recreational opportunities is extremely important to these target employees.”


Baruch and Pfund pointed out by way of example that Browns Canyon is the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the entire country. It’s also a great place for hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, snowshoeing, birding, climbing and horseback riding.


The designation of Browns Canyon alone will mean that Colorado entrepreneurial companies can more easily attract the financing they need and hire the employees who will help them grow. “That means that the designation will actually fuel more innovation,” they said.


The Conservation for Economic Growth Coalition launched in December 2014 because of the new dynamic in Washington: both the President and Republican Congress are motivated to support economic growth before the presidential elections in 2016. This coalition believes that conservation of America’s national public lands is critical to the bottom line of American businesses.


A full list of current Coalition members is below. As the Congress and the President are considering opportunities to protect public lands over the next two years, the Coalition will work closely with investors and entrepreneurs nationwide to build a voice for the Coalition’s message.




Wendy Abrams of Cool Globes, in Chicago;

Tom Baruch, founder and Emeritus Partner of venture capital firms CMEA Capital and Formation8 in San Francisco, CA;

Tom Dinwoodie, former CEO of PowerLight (sold to Sunpower), of San Francisco, CA; and

Michael Eynon of RedSeal Networks;

Robert Keith of Beartooth Capital;

Alex Laskey, founder of Opower;

Jiong Ma of Braemar Energy Partners in NYC;

Susan Mason of Aligned Partners;

Laura Mather of Unitive, Inc. and Co-Founder of Silvertail Systems;

Mark Mendel formerly of Intellectual Ventures in Seattle;

Nancy Pfund of DBL Investors;

Pete Rive, Founder of Solar City;

Jason Scott of Eko Asset Management Partners;

Paul Smith of Los Altos, CA, angel investor and founder and CEO of three entrepreneurial companies, each of which has been acquired or gone public.

Mark Wan of Walden Ventures in San Francisco;

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Strong Solar Market Helps NEXTracker Raise $25M for Advanced PV Trackers http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/strong-solar-market-helps-nextracker-raise-25m-for-advanced-pv-trackers/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/strong-solar-market-helps-nextracker-raise-25m-for-advanced-pv-trackers/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 23:12:33 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1984 By Eric Wesoff:  NEXTracker, a designer and builder of single-axis PV trackers, just announced a $25 million B round led by new investor SJF Ventures along with Tennenbaum Capital Partners and existing investors Sigma Partners and DBL Investors. The round closed at the end of December.

Dan Shugar, the CEO of NEXTracker, left the CEO position at Solaria to spin out the tracker firm in 2013 after a year of incubation within the PV module maker.

Shugar told GTM last night, “I don’t know anyone who has ramped a company as fast as we have.”

He said, “We delivered about 275 megawatts in 2014…but this year will be well north of 1 gigawatt.” He also told GTM that production capacity is being ramped to 200 megawatts per month. The trackers can be built in the U.S., Asia and Europe, with multiple suppliers in each product category.

Nancy Pfund, a partner at DBL Investors and a board member at NEXTracker, tells GTM, “As we’ve seen over the past year or two, solar hardware is having an investment moment. Any companies that drive down costs and/or increase performance (think Zep and Silevo) are in a position to be attractive as the industry grows and industry players look for ways to increase system profitability. NEXTracker fits squarely in this space, as tracking systems can boost the economics of ground-mount solar farms in a significant way”

Pfund added, “Everyone knows that the global PV industry is growing fast, but many people don’t know that utility-scale systems are growing fastest, and that trackers are one of the fastest-growing PV applications, with 17 percent of global PV installed on trackers in 2013, projected to grow to 27 percent for 2017. In fact, NEXTracker is one of the fastest-growing companies in our portfolio.”

To read the full article, visit greentechsolar.

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Solar Market Growth Helps NEXTracker Get $25M http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/solar-market-growth-helps-nextracker-get-25m/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/02/solar-market-growth-helps-nextracker-get-25m/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 23:05:39 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1982 By Yuliya Chernova:

Startup NEXTracker Inc., which developed a support system that moves solar panels to maximize exposure to sunshine, attracted $25 million in equity and debt to satisfy fast-growing demand.

To read the full article, visit Dow Jones VentureWire.

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Siva Power Lands $10M to Chase Giga-Scale Domestic Thin-Film Solar Production http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/01/siva-power-lands-10m-to-chase-giga-scale-domestic-thin-film-solar-production/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/01/siva-power-lands-10m-to-chase-giga-scale-domestic-thin-film-solar-production/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:23:44 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1962 By Eric Wesoff:  Producing gigawatts’ worth of thin-film solar panels with domestic manufacturing is still a real possibility for CEO Brad Mattson and CTO Markus Beck of Siva Power.

The San Jose, Calif.-based solar startup is freshly funded and focused on developing the world’s largest-scale and least-expensive thin-film CIGS production line.

The company just banked $10 million in new funding, which includes a $3 million DOE SunShot grant, a $3 million conversion of debt financing from Trident Capital, DBL Investors, Medley Partners and Acero Capital, as well as $4 million in new capital from the city of Wuxi, China and existing investors DBL, Medley, and Acero.

According to Siva’s CEO (and new author) Brad Mattson, this capital allows Siva to begin building “the world’s highest-capacity co-evaporation source” and narrow down the site selection for its envisioned 300 megawatt-factory. California is on the short list.

To read the full article visit greentech solar.

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Siva Power wins $3 million in funding from DOE SunShot Program http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/01/siva-power-wins-3-million-in-funding-from-doe-sunshot-program/ http://www.dblinvestors.com/2015/01/siva-power-wins-3-million-in-funding-from-doe-sunshot-program/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:02:38 +0000 http://www.dblinvestors.com/?p=1950 Through its SunShot Initiative, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded US thin-film technology startup Siva Power $3 million in funding to support the company’s commercialization efforts. Specifically, the funding supports the firm’s plans to demonstrate a CIGS co-evaporation technology that enables 12x higher manufacturing throughput (m2/min) than is currently available.This would enable a fully automated CIGS deposition system at a 3x reduction in capex, labor and overhead costs per watt, the company said. This CIGS system, along with other high-speed tools, will allow Siva to build the world’s largest production line, at 300 MW.

In August 2014, Siva said it was seeking $100 million to build its 300 MW CIGS thin-film module factory. Siva CEO Brad Mattson told Bloomberg that the company had received significant interest from strategic investors in China and that it expected to close the investment cycle by the end of 2014. Siva aims to begin building the module factory in 2015 and to scale up production activities in 2016. The single automated 300 MW production line would use co-evaporated CIGS technology and high-speed flat panel display glass coating tools and would produce modules at a cost of $0.40 per W within the first year of operation. This would drop to $0.28 per W 2 years after that, the company said. Siva has not yet selected a site for the factory, but it has said in the past that its projected manufacturing costs could be achieved in China, the US or nearly any other location.

In June, Siva raised $15 million from the Chinese city of Wuxi, China and existing investors Trident Capital, DBL Investors LLC and Acero Capital Management. Siva said the proceeds from the June fundraising round would be used to expand its research and manufacturing operations and to build a pilot production line.

The SunShot Initiative is a national effort to make solar energy cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. Ten firms nationwide recently received cooperative awards under the Solar Manufacturing Technology funding program, which aims to bridge the gap from invention to commercialization, bringing innovative technology to scale. Siva was the only thin-film panel awardee in the funding round.



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