Monday, April 16, 2007

Show me the money, Pt. III

Today I will again cover what’s happening in the nano-investment world.

Here is a list of some of the noteworthy investments going to "nanotech" companies, universities, and VC funds, for period February 10, 2007 to March 9, 2007. Also covered are articles on how investments are performing.

Why did I put nanotech in quotes? Because the definition of nanotechnology remains elusive at best, and is often purposefully misapplied to fit the self-promotional goals of some companies who may not actually be working with nanoscale materials. The listings below are all "legit" nanotech.

Given the importance of investing, I will revisit this topic on a regular basis.

--Ener1 Group Completes Block Trade With Institutional Investors

Ener1 Group, Inc. (OTCBB: ENEI) announced that it sold 6.22 million shares of Ener1, Inc. common stock in a block trade with a group of institutional investors. Approximately $1.2 million of the $1.55 million proceeds will be invested in Ener1, Inc. as equity to accelerate the development of its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery and fuel cell business plans.

--Big potential in U.K. nanotech

When Oxonica listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in July 2005, the stock rocketed 100% within the first week of trading. Since then, it has been range bound and highly volatile between 120-180p. The stock trades at 150p today, yielding a market cap of $123 million.

-- Nanotech index offers pure-play industry exposure

Mr. Braswell is the primary architect of the Newbridge Nanotechnology Index (NNIX), which was launched in June 2004. The index, which doesn’t yet have a license agreement with any investible funds, comprises 24 companies with market capitalizations of between $100 million and $1.3 billion.The index is market capitalization weighted, limiting all weightings to a 10% maximum. The key ingredient, according to Mr. Braswell, is the pure-play exposure to the nanotechnology market.

-- The Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship Announces Partnership with The NASDAQ Stock Market Educational Foundation

The Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship has received a grant award of $105,000 from NASDAQ to help fund the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC). This grant recognizes the substantial growth of the RBPC which, in just seven years, has become the largest and richest intercollegiate business plan competition in the world.

-- In Depth Research on Harris & Harris Group, Inc

Harris & Harris Group likes to think small. The business development company (BDC) invests mostly in startup firms developing so-called "tiny technology" -- microsystems, microelectromechanical systems, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Shares were up 5% after the Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation announced it had invested $4 million as the lead investor in Xradia.

-- Rensselaer Named One of America’s “New Ivies”

Rensselaer recently announced the establishment of the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), a $100 million partnership to create the world’s most powerful university-based supercomputing center.

-- Ecoprogress Considers Licensing New Nanotech Technology

The company has also reduced its accounts payable during February from approximately $340,000 to around $272,000. Also, the company is finalizing paperwork to close the second tranche of the $500,000 private placement. The company had already closed the first tranche for $304,050. It is expected to be oversubscribed.

-- NanoVic Signs Two New Agreements in $8 million BioNano Portfolio

In January, NanoVic completed the Bead NanoArray Commercial Development Agreement with Swinburne University of Technology. This agreement commits the parties to a total investment of $138,200 in cash and personnel resources. In February, NanoVic completed the SERS Commercial Development Agreement with Swinburne University of Technology and OptoTech Pty Ltd. This agreement commits the parties to a total investment of $354,893 in cash and personnel resources.

-- Emerging Turkish nanotech reverses brain drain

The foundations of the Turkish National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) have been laid in Ankara under the auspices of Bilkent University by the Turkish State Planning Organization with a budget of $21 million.

-- Trinity College spin-out raises €800,000

Trinity college spin-out Cellix, a developer of technology platforms for the drug discovery and diagnostics industries, has completed an €800,000 investment round.

-- Major Fuel Cell Stocks in Review

Over 3-dozen fuel cell companies profiled.

-- OVP VII closes on $250M hard cap

Early-stage venture capital firm OVP Venture Partners (OVP) has announced a final close on its seventh fund at $250 million, well exceeding its target of $200 million and at its self-imposed hard cap. After a first close of $207 million in May 2006, OVP accepted additional investments from two limited partners, the Meketa Investment Group in Westwood, MA, and the endowment of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. OVP now has over $750 million in capital under management.

-- Trellis Bioscience Raises $10 Million in Series B Venture Round

Trellis Bioscience, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that it has raised $10 million in a Series B Preferred Stock venture capital financing. New investor Novartis Bioventures Ltd. led the round, with the participation of additional new investors Pac-Link Bio Venture Investment Corporation and Sagamore Bioventures LLC. Previous investors, Easton-Hunt Capital Partners, LP and Morgenthaler Partners VII LP also participated in the financing.

-- I Love Harris & Harris

I love Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY) for the little things -- the very little things, to be precise. This publicly traded venture-capital firm and Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick has been specializing in nanotechnology-related investments for more than a decade, and it remains one of the best "pure play" investments in the field of nanotechnology.

-- Sowing seeds for state's growth

Buried in the budget proposal Gov. Jim Doyle will present to the Legislature Tuesday night is a relatively small $2 million funding item for a new Wisconsin Venture Center. Initially, the center's focus would be on building relationships with financiers, with the aim of linking them up with business opportunities in economic areas that the governor is trying to build, such as bio-industry, biotechnology, nanotechnology…

-- Clean Energy Performing Well

America's twin desires to breathe clean air and to break its addiction to oil are accruing to the benefit of clean energy companies. The public market fund-raisings for such initiatives hit $10.3 billion in 2006, says Clean Edge. That's up from $4.3 billion in 2005.

-- Oxonica to invest extra 2.5 mln stg in Petrol Ofisi, Becton Dickinson ventures

Oxonica PLC said it will invest about 2.5 mln stg extra in the current year to accelerate the progress of two products developed through its strategic relationships with Petrol Ofisi and Becton Dickinson.

-- UK smallcap opening - Nanosience in demand after key milestone passed

Shares in Nanoscience took on a penny at 10-1/2 after the firm announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Toumaz Technology had passed a key milestone.

-- New investment fund for startups

A new $10 million investment fund for early-stage startups, the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund, backed by state taxpayers and local investors, will be unveiled today. Funding will go not only to tech startups, such as in biotechnology, nanotechnology and life sciences, but also to companies involved in such areas as retail, consumer products and new media.,CST-FIN-seed26.article

-- Chicago's Business Leaders Collaborate to Create, Invest and Manage the $10 Million Illinois Innovation Accelerator (i2A) Fund

Today, the Illinois Innovation Accelerator (i2A) Fund, a $10 million seed-stage, for-profit investment fund, was launched with $6.4 million in capital commitment in its first closing. The fund will also invest in consumer product and retail enterprises, new-media start-ups, as well as companies in biotechnology, nanotechnology, cleantechnology and life sciences.

-- Liquidia Secures $16M in New Financing

Liquidia, a startup that has been without a full-time chief executive officer, has landed $16 million in new venture capital from New Enterprise Associates.

-- Nanotechnology funding could push frontiers of technology

A partnership that will provide $4.5 million over three years towards research and development of materials-based nanotechnology was announced recently. The National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT) along with the Mississauga-based Xero Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) and the Government of Alberta will invest funds and human resources to create a program and teams to lead the work.

-- GE Cleans Up

When you invest in General Electric (NYSE: GE), you are, in many ways, investing in the equivalent of a mutual fund that is widely diversified across a number of commercial and industrial sectors, including financial services, health care, transportation, manufacturing, and energy. As such, the odds that an investment in the company will produce eye-popping returns are remote, but it does offer investors the prospect of garnering market-beating returns for the foreseeable future.

-- For Stock Market, TGIF (March 2, 2007)

Nanotechnology player Applied Materials, Inc., which shed 47 cents, or 2.6 percent, to 17.98.

-- AES Corporation makes strategic investment in Altair Nanotechnologies

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ALTI), a leading manufacturer of safe, high-performance battery pack systems used in electric and hybrid-electric automobiles and stationary power systems, announced today that global power leader AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) has made a $3 million strategic investment in Altair.

-- Nano-Batteries That Keep On Going

In Feburary 2006, Motorola joined other high-profile investors such as General Electric and Qualcomm to provide A123 with $30 million in its third round of private-equity funding. The round raised A123's total investment to date to $62 million. In December, the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, a group that includes DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor and General Motors, awarded A123 Systems a 36-month, $15 million contract.

-- Harris & Harris Group Invests in Solazyme

Harris & Harris Group, Inc., announced today that it has made a follow-on investment of $500,000 in Solazyme, Inc., as part of a Series B round financing comprising both equity and debt. The financing was led by the Roda Group and included undisclosed individual and institutional investors and Harris & Harris Group.

-- Nano Chemical Systems Holdings to Merge With SolarDiesel

Nano Chemical Systems Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NCSH), announced today plans to merge with SolarDiesel, Inc. a biodiesel manufacturing and distribution operations. The transaction has a value in excess of $100,000,000.

-- Xradia Raises $7 Million in Venture Capital Funding Led by Harris & Harris Group

Xradia, Inc. today announced the closing of a $7.0 million equity in a series D financing round. Major investors included Harris & Harris Group, Inc. an unnamed strategic investor and a prior round investor.

-- NaturalNano Closes $3.25 Million Deal – Will Use Proceeds To Develop Pleximer Product Line

NaturalNano, Inc. (OTCBB: NNAN) (FWB: N3N) a materials science company, today announced it has received a $3.25 million cash investment from Platinum Partners Long Term Growth IV and Longview Special Financing, Inc. through the issuance of Convertible Secured Notes. The transaction closed on March 7, 2007.

-- A Budding Solar Star?

This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman is expected to formally announce the Bush Administration's Solar America Initiative -- a $148 million program designed to accelerate advanced solar electric technologies. He will do so from the headquarters of a small nanotechnology start-up company called Konarka.

-- NanoCoolers gets $3 million grant

An Austin company received $3 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund for its "refrigerator on a chip" cooling device.

For custom reports on nanotech and cleantech news and developments, please contact me at rocky at

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1 comment:

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