Venture firms and strategic investors in cleantech started 2012 off strong with five investments so far in the first week of the year:
Transphorm received $5,500,000 from Foundation Capital, Google, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lux Capital, and Soros Fund Management as per a regulatory filing, bringing the total round to $30.5 million. Transphorm announced a $25 million round in June of 2011. The firm is building an energy-efficient gallium nitride (GaN) power conversion module; the latest funding brings the total capital raised from all rounds to $63 million. Gallium nitride power conversion is not a new field. What Transphorm has to do is figure out how to do it at scale, inexpensively, while charting an independent intellectual property course. Transphorm is addressing motor drives, power supplies and inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles.
Ascent Solar of Thornton, Colorado (NASDAQ:ASTI), a developer of flexible CIGS solar panels, just announced that TFG Radiant will increase its ownership in the solar panel manufacturer to approximately 41 percent. TFJ Radiant looks to address
“rooftop and portable power applications in East Asia.”