CEVG investment

The Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) announces investments in BlueDot Photonics and 60Hertz Energy

The Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) is pleased to welcome BlueDot Photonics and 60Hertz Energy as part of its group of portfolio companies.

“Both companies bring unique capabilities in their space and we are thrilled to include them in our ecosystem to help support their success” said Jean-Noel Poirier, Executive Managing Director at CEVG.

Each investment included a unique syndication of investors, such as VoLo Earth, E8 Angels, Climate Impact Capital, SeaChange, and Factor[e]. CEVG’s investments were led by CEVG partners John Harper and James Ellis.

BlueDot Photonics is a leading innovator in new applications of perovskite materials, developing quantum-cutting technology that can lower the cost of solar power by up to 10% by improving energy yield in silicon solar panels by up to 16%. Long-term, BlueDot is committed to pushing solar panel efficiency and costs beyond the limits of current silicon technology.

60Hertz Energy is the only offline-first Social Impact CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) for remote microgrid assets and teams. 60Hertz is innovative because of its focus on remote and emerging markets use in settings with limited bandwidth.

Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) is an investment group providing seed capital and management expertise to early-stage climate tech and clean energy companies. The group is comprised of seasoned operating executives with strong capabilities in the energy and environmental sectors. With each investment, we bring not only capital but also the value of our experience and network to help companies achieve their financial and impact goals. CEVG has invested in over 50 companies which have received over $600M in follow on funding.

Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG)  joins lead VoLo Earth Ventures in $1M Series Seed financing for Disruptive Perovskite Company, BlueDot Photonics, Inc.

BlueDot Photonics, the leading innovator in new applications of perovskite materials, announced today that it has raised $1m in its Series Seed financing. BlueDot Photonics, a leader in perovskite materials development, announced today that it has raised $1m in its Series Seed financing. The round was led by VoLo Earth Ventures, an early-stage VC investing in the new energy economy through innovative products and technologies. BlueDot Photonics brought over $1.5M in non-dilutive grants and projects to the table to help the company towards its goal of creating gigaton reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through faster deployment of solar power. BlueDot’s quantum-cutting technology can lower the cost of solar power by up to 10% by improving energy yield in silicon solar panels by up to 16%.

Long-term, BlueDot is committed to pushing solar panel efficiency and costs beyond the limits of current silicon technology. Other investors include Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) of Boston, MA, who helped with investment syndication with other angel groups and impact funds, and E8 of Seattle, WA. As Kareem Dabbagh, Managing Partner of VoLo Earth Ventures points out, “The cost of solar has come down tremendously in the past two decades, making it cheaper than or competitive with most nonrenewable energy generation in the US. Our investment in BlueDot and their quantum-cutting technology is really exciting as it will accelerate this downward solar cost trend by making solar even more efficient with minimal changes to the existing supply chain and manufacturing process.” He adds, “As a leader in perovskites, BlueDot is at the forefront of research and development in this exciting new field and their products will help make solar energy ubiquitous throughout our communities.”

Jared Silvia, CEO of BlueDot Photonics, adds “Our collaboration with VoLo Earth and other investors in this round will accelerate our prototyping cycles and shorten our time to market. We share a vision to harness more power from light for the pale blue dot of Earth.” VoLo Earth is addressing our planet’s climate crisis at its roots by providing first-in funding and hands-on leadership to early-stage climate tech companies. Volo Earth strives to grow, propagate, and capitalize on climate solutions with an intent to deliver superior investment returns and quantifiable carbon benefit.

VoLo Earth Ventures leads Series Seed financing for Disruptive Perovskite Company, BlueDot Photonics, Inc. BlueDot Photonics, the leading innovator in new applications of perovskite materials, announced today that it has raised $1m in its Series Seed financing. BlueDot Photonics, a leader in perovskite materials development, announced today that it has raised $1m in its Series Seed financing. The round was led by VoLo Earth Ventures, an early-stage VC investing in the new energy economy through innovative products and technologies.

BlueDot Photonics brought over $1.5M in non-dilutive grants and projects to the table to help the company towards its goal of creating gigaton reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through faster deployment of solar power. BlueDot’s quantum-cutting technology can lower the cost of solar power by up to 10% by improving energy yield in silicon solar panels by up to 16%. Long-term, BlueDot is committed to pushing solar panel efficiency and costs beyond the limits of current silicon technology. Other investors include Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) of Boston, MA, who helped with investment syndication with other angel groups and impact funds, and E8 of Seattle, WA.

As Kareem Dabbagh, Managing Partner of VoLo Earth Ventures points out, “The cost of solar has come down tremendously in the past two decades, making it cheaper than or competitive with most nonrenewable energy generation in the US. Our investment in BlueDot and their quantum-cutting technology is really exciting as it will accelerate this downward solar cost trend by making solar even more efficient with minimal changes to the existing supply chain and manufacturing process.” He adds, “As a leader in perovskites, BlueDot is at the forefront of research and development in this exciting new field and their products will help make solar energy ubiquitous throughout our communities.” Jared Silvia, CEO of BlueDot Photonics, adds “Our collaboration with VoLo Earth and other investors in this round will accelerate our prototyping cycles and shorten our time to market. We share a vision to harness more power from light for the pale blue dot of Earth.” VoLo Earth is addressing our planet’s climate crisis at its roots by providing first-in funding and hands-on leadership to early-stage climate tech companies. Volo Earth strives to grow, propagate, and capitalize on climate solutions with an intent to deliver superior investment returns and quantifiable carbon benefit.

60Hertz Energy CMMS Raises $1.3M to Improve Remote Microgrid Operations

ANCHORAGE, Alaska and DENVER, Colorado — Tuesday, May 18th, 2021. 60Hertz Energy is pleased to announce the closing of its Pre-Series A round of $1.3M, bringing total capital raised to $2.7M to date. 60Hertz Energy is a SaaS Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) platform improving electricity microgrids and backup generator operations. The round was led by Factor[e] and Climate Impact Capital, with major investments from SeaChange Fund, Clean Energy Venture Group angels, and the Alaska Investor Network.

“Maintenance is a critical element of ensuring grid resiliency, as we saw during the near-collapse of the Texas ERCOT grid early in 2021,” said Alex Rozenfeld, the Founder of Climate Impact Capital. “Microgrids will become an increasingly important part of the mainstream grid in the coming decades as we see more climate change driven mega weather events and 60Hertz will be part of the suite of solutions needed in that future.”

The 60Hertz software and services already are actively deployed supporting remote and critical microgrids in seven countries. 60Hertz enables customers to improve the asset performance and overall lifespan of their existing power generation facilities and speeds their transition of microgrids to resilient and renewable power generation sources.   60Hertz facilitates maintenance on over $140M of microgrid assets with over 4,600 maintenance records filed per month through the platform. This financing will accelerate the company’s growth in North American and Sub-Saharan African markets.

60Hertz Energy is a Women-Owned Small Business. At a time when only 2.8% of venture capital goes to female-founded start-ups, 60Hertz is a success story. New 60Hertz Director, Susan Preston of SeaChange Fund, notes that “I am delighted to start working with 60Hertz on the strategic pathway to further growth and success. I am particularly pleased to be working with an excellent CEO, Piper Foster Wilder.”

Piper Foster Wilder launched the company in 2017. With co-founders Whitney Gantt and Tonya James, the team has created and deployed maintenance software designed for low- and intermittent bandwidth in off-grid locations in Alaskan villages and Sub-Saharan African countries and for users new to technology, maintenance, and energy assets.

The need for efficient, resilient, and sustainable microgrid infrastructure is critical to boosting economic growth. Microgrids are rapidly expanding from rural markets that 60Hertz Energy currently serves to become key elements of grid management worldwide.

“The clean energy revolution is happening everywhere, not just in the cities and suburbs,” said John Harper, a Partner at Clean Energy Venture Group. “Rural and remote power generation assets have a critical role in transitioning to a cleaner and more resilient future. 60Hertz’s CMMS is an essential tool in this effort. We’re eager to help 60Hertz Energy grow dramatically over the next several years.

Volexion Secures $2 Million in Seed Funding to Scale Battery Cathode Technology

The investment by Clean Energy Ventures and Energy Foundry will enable Volexion to scale its cathode technology to meet market demand for high energy density solutions. 

CHICAGO, IL, April 8, 2021 – Volexion, the developer of a graphene coating for lithium-ion batteries that dramatically increases energy and power density, as well as cycle life and safety, today announced the closing of the $1.1 million first tranche of its $2.2 million seed financing led by leading climate tech venture capital firms Clean Energy Ventures and Energy Foundry.

Volexion’s proprietary graphene coating acts as a protective layer around battery cathode materials to suppress material and electrolyte degradation. Battery cells with Volexion’s coating can see a 30 percent increase in energy density, 40 percent increase in power density, and run twice as long as conventional lithium-ion batteries. Volexion-coated cathode material is “drop-in”, integrating directly into any manufacturer’s existing processes, and is complementary to advanced anode technologies.

“The lithium-ion battery market is growing rapidly, with many innovations and new ideas, yet relatively few innovations have focused on the cathode. Volexion’s innovation is special because it improves the performance of a very wide range of battery chemistries,” said David Miller, Managing Director and Co-founder of Clean Energy Ventures. “We believe Volexion’s innovation will accelerate the performance improvements of lithium-ion batteries

by as much as 10 years and enable the additional reduction of over 2.5 billion tons of CO2e by 2050 through the more rapid adoption of electric vehicles.”

uncoated Volexion particle
Uncoated particle

Volexion already has nine collaboration agreements in place with cathode and battery producers as well as automotive original equipment manufacturers. The technology can unlock performance improvements for consumer electronics and grid storage sectors as well as for electric vehicles.

“By innovating on the cathode, Volexion’s technology can work in conjunction with many of the new, emerging battery chemistries and anode innovations. Promising technologies like cobalt-free batteries could potentially enter the market even sooner when combined with Volexion’s technology,” said John Carlisle, Director of Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, where Volexion has been developing their technology with support from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

“Volexion is uniquely positioned for success,” said Sara Chamberlain, Managing Director of Energy Foundry. “Not only have they launched an incredibly promising technology platform, but their roots include talent from Northwestern University, validation from Argonne National Laboratory, and early customers across the Midwest.”  

“With this new funding we’re accelerating rapidly to scale our technology and improve battery performance for battery cell manufacturers for a variety of devices,” said Damien Despinoy, CEO of Volexion. “Both Energy Foundry and Clean Energy Ventures have deep operational experience and a successful track record in the energy space that will be a strong asset to us as we commercialize.”

About Volexion

Volexion is a battery technology company working to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries globally. Volexion’s proprietary graphene coating for lithium-ion battery cathodes dramatically improves energy and power density while reducing costs. Volexion was founded by Prof. Mark Hersam, Director of the Northwestern University Materials Research Center and a MacArthur Fellow, who discovered that coating battery cathodes with graphene can improve battery performance. Volexion was formed in 2018 to explore the commercialization of this solution. Learn more at volexion-inc.com.

About Energy Foundry

Energy Foundry, a Chicago-based venture capital platform, invests in today’s most promising energy innovators, and works with the world’s leading energy companies to build and scale new ventures. Their approach merges venture capital with the perks of partnership and includes an arsenal of essential tools and relationships to help bring great ideas to market.  www.energyfoundry.com

Nth Cycle Secures $3.2 Million in Seed Funding to Scale Technology for Battery Recycling, Sustainable Mining

The investment by Clean Energy Ventures will allow Nth Cycle to scale its metal processing technology, an alternative to pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy processes.

BOSTON, April 8, 2021 – Nth Cycle, the maker of a recycling technology that extracts critical metals from batteries, e-waste, low-grade ore, and mine tailings so they can be reused to make new clean energy products, today announced that it secured $3.2 million in funding from investors led by climate tech venture capital firm Clean Energy Ventures.

The team at Nth Cycle

Nth Cycle uses an environmentally-friendly process called electro-extraction to recover cobalt and other minerals from discarded batteries and mining ores and waste using only electricity and carbon filters. Electro-extraction is a cleaner, lower-cost alternative to the conventional pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy processes used by battery recyclers and mining companies to recover cobalt, nickel and manganese for new battery manufacturing. This technology expands the circular supply chain of critical minerals for the clean energy transition.

“As demand for batteries increases dramatically in the coming decades, we need a sustainable process for recycling and reusing critical minerals to build a secure, low-cost domestic supply chain for electric vehicles and energy storage that avoids imports from unreliable and politically unstable regions,” said Daniel Goldman, Managing Director at Clean Energy Ventures. “Nth Cycle’s best-in-class technology reduces the volume of e-waste headed for landfills, improves the effectiveness of existing mines, and can ultimately have a material impact on climate change by mitigating over 2.5 billion tons of CO2e emissions over the next thirty years through cleaner processing and re-use of critical minerals.”

Nth Cycle, whose technology was developed at Harvard University and Yale University, recently opened new operations in the Boston area, and will use the funding to execute their technology roadmap and deploy several pilot projects with recyclers and mine operators early next year. The company has seen extensive interest in its technology from battery recyclers, operators of existing and proposed mines, auto OEMs and micro-mobility companies, and battery manufacturers eager to utilize this technology to reduce reliance on imported critical metals or environmentally unfriendly recovery technologies.

Megan O'Connor, CEO & Founder at Nth Cycle

“Separating critical minerals from other metals in the recycling and mining process can be costly and complex”, said Daniel Miller, Innovation Crossroads Program Lead at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “A technology like Nth Cycle’s reduces the cost, footprint, and environmental impact of producing recycled metals that have exactly the same composition and performance as newly mined minerals.”

“A significant fraction of the critical minerals needed for the transition to electric vehicles are already in circulation today, we just haven’t had a clean, profitable way of retrieving them, until now,” said Megan O’Connor, CEO and Founder of Nth Cycle. “Through electro-extraction, we’re turning waste into valuable resources and we look forward to bringing this technology to battery recyclers and miners so we can all move together on a path toward a more sustainable planet.”

About Nth Cycle

Nth Cycle is a metal processing technology company. We work with battery recyclers and miners to recover production-grade critical minerals from separated e-waste and low-grade mine tailings. Our electro-extraction technology—an alternative to hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy—enables customizable, clean and consistent recovery of the critical minerals for the energy transition. Learn more at nthcycle.com.

LineVision Secures $12.5 Million in Series B Financing to Scale Grid Enhancing Technology

LineVision, Inc., a leading provider of non-contact overhead power line sensor solutions to monitor, optimize, and protect critical energy delivery infrastructure today announced the closing of its Series B financing round, raising $12.5 million to accelerate the company’s growth. The round is led by UP Partners, a Los Angeles-based electrification and mobility fund. Other new investors include National Grid Partners, the venture investment and innovation arm of one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies; and ZOMA Capital, a Colorado-based family office specializing in grid modernization technologies. These new investors join existing LineVision backers including Clean Energy Ventures, which is again investing in LineVision through this Series B financing round.

“We are thrilled to welcome this elite group of investors and partners on LineVision’s next phase of growth,” said Hudson Gilmer, LineVision’s Chief Executive Officer. “With this investment, we will continue to build the team and platform which are helping our utility clients around the world increase the capacity, flexibility, and resilience of their grids.”

“LineVision is harnessing advanced sensors and analytics to solve one of the most critical obstacles to the energy transition,” said Adam Grosser, Chairperson of UP Partners. “There is simply no way we will achieve the urgent goals of electrification and decarbonization without widespread deployment of technologies like LineVision to unlock more capacity and flexibility from the existing grid.”

“National Grid has long been dedicated to deploying technologies that enable us to optimize the performance and reliability of our network,” said Rudy Wynter, President of National Grid, New York. “Technologies like LineVision’s V3 systems help us better understand the condition of our assets while enabling us to meet the goals of our Net Zero by 2050 plan. We see investment in grid-enhancing technologies like LineVision as strategically important to our efforts to modernize the grid and integrate more renewables.”

National Grid is currently utilizing LineVision’s V3 platform to assess conductor asset health, obtain greater situational awareness, and increase transmission line capacity with Dynamic Line Ratings. The utility first deployed LineVision’s solutions in 2018 on transmission lines in Massachusetts, and in 2020 installed LineVision’s asset health monitors on lines in New York.

LineVision’s unique V3 sensors collect real-time data on critical parameters of overhead power lines including line temperature, sag, horizontal motion, and anomalies. Studies have shown congestion on transmission lines costs US consumers more than $8 billion annually. A recent study by The Brattle Group showed that Dynamic Line Ratings enabled by LineVision will help double integration of renewables on the existing grid.

In just over two years since its founding, LineVision has secured deals with National Grid, Dominion Energy, Xcel Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and several other North American utilities yet to be announced. The company also works with multiple European utilities through the Farcross Project, which aims to improve cross-border interconnections by utilizing Dynamic Line Ratings.

BRIDGES Announces $1.9 Million in Funding to Support Clean Energy Startups Impacted by COVID-19

CEVG is proud to partner with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and other leading clean energy investors to support innovators during the COVID crisis via the BRIDGES (Bridging Recovery for Innovators Driving Green Energy Solutions) program.

“Long-term innovation is necessary and will not happen without the emergence of new technologies and companies that are particularly vulnerable in times of global crises such as COVID-19,” said Jean-Noel Poirier, Executive Managing Director of CEVG.CEVG has been deeply committed to supporting early-stage clean energy entrepreneurs for many years, via seed capital and active management support, and is proud to join MassCEC during these tough times.”

Read about the exciting partnership here!

Clean Energy Venture Group and E8 Angels Form Partnership for National Climatetech Angel Investing

We are pleased to announce a closer collaboration with E8 Angels for a stronger support of climate technology entrepreneurs across the country.

CEVG and E8 have been leading supporters and investors of clean energy innovation for many years, remaining focused on early stage investments in the sector. In addition to capital, through collaboration with our dedicated partners, deep expertise, management support, and strong networks are used to help launch and deploy portfolio companies.

The collaboration between CEVG and E8 will broaden our collective ability to assess, co-invest in and support entrepreneurs post-investment across North America.

See the full press release at the link below:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/clean-energy-venture-group-and-e8-angels-form-partnership-for-national-climatetech-angel-investing-301089197.html

Our Sister Organization, Clean Energy Ventures, Launches $110 Million Early-Stage Venture Fund For Clean Energy Innovation

BOSTON, Oct. 15, 2019  — Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), an investor in early-stage advanced energy start-ups, today announced the close of its first fund. The $110 million Clean Energy Venture Fund targets the current capital gap for seed and early-stage investments in promising advanced energy innovations. CEV will focus on technologies and business model innovations in the U.S. and Canada that are ready to be scaled and commercialized, and that have the potential to significantly mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions.

“After more than a decade of investing in the advanced energy sector, it’s been gratifying that this first fund, which is focused on investments that address climate risks, was significantly oversubscribed. It’s really indicative not only of investors’ appetite for innovation in these sectors, but also of the new normal in which this kind of funding is possible without compromising return on investment,” said Daniel Goldman, Managing Director at CEV. “Investors are clearly seeing that increasing commercial adoption of advanced energy innovations is creating opportunities to earn attractive risk-adjusted returns.”

The three principals – David S. MillerDaniel Goldman, and Temple Fennell – bring extensive advanced energy and technology start-up experience, as well as over 40 years of combined investing experience at the seed and early stages. Their successful track record of investing in more than 30 early-stage advanced energy companies includes multiple exits, such as MyEnergy (acquired by Nest, subsequently acquired by Alphabet affiliate Google), and more recently, Pika Energy (acquired by Generac). The firm will leverage their decade-plus history of investing together across the advanced energy sector and their extensive network among financial and strategic investors who have co-invested or followed-on in many of the principals’ prior investments.

CEV’s investment strategy is focused on a broad range of low-cost, capital-efficient advanced energy technology solutions that have massive emissions reduction potential. The fund has already made seven investments in sectors that include grid-edge connectivity and advanced metering, innovative materials and manufacturing processes applicable to carbon fiber composites and silicon-based solar wafers, residential and industrial energy efficiency, and smart grid sensors and software. Additional areas of interest include energy storage, grid connectivity, renewable energy production, clean transportation and the water/energy nexus.

“Unique among investors in the clean energy space, we’ll continue to focus on early stage advanced energy entrepreneurs with disruptive hardware and materials technology solutions and capital-light business models that have the potential to massively scale,” continued Goldman. “That thesis continues to generate extraordinary interest for co-investment and acquisition by an increasingly broad array of energy and industrial sector incumbents seeking new business opportunities and low-carbon solutions to their operations. Our intention is to take significant steps towards realizing our ultimate goal of growing companies to scale and having a material impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”

CEV’s Strategic Advisory Board is chaired by former United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and includes Ellen Williams, former Chief Scientist of British Petroleum, and J. Michael McQuade, former Chief Technology Officer of United Technologies. The fund also has a deep bench of venture partners with whom the principals have been working for over a decade and who bring extensive technical and commercial advanced energy experience. As an engaged investor, the fund is focused on leadership team diversity and development and is supported by a world-renowned expert focused on helping leadership teams discover new ways of working together to generate profound transformation within their companies.

About Clean Energy Ventures
Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage advanced energy technologies and business model innovations that are ready to be scaled and commercialized to address global climate risks. The firm’s principals – serial entrepreneurs and investors who have backed more than 30 companies in the advanced energy technology sectors – have been investing in, supporting and mentoring early-stage energy startups together since 2005.

Clean Energy Ventures is a close partner and collaborator with the Clean Energy Venture Group. CEVG and CEV support each other in sourcing, scouting and diligencing deals. We often co-invest.

NYSERDA to Support Emerging Cleantech Companies Through New Investor Advisory Board

“The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the launch of a new Investor Advisory Board to support its efforts to accelerate new technologies and provide broader exposure for emerging companies to the investment community. The 10-member board came together today in New York City for the first time and represents some of the most active and prestigious early-stage financial and corporate investors in the clean energy space. Today’s announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York State on a path to a carbon-neutral economy while spurring growth of the green economy. ” (NYSERDA 2019)

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