04292014solarpanels
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Solar industry heating up, again: VCJ

Investor interest in solar startups is swelling, again, thanks to an uptick in installations nationwide, a lowering of prices and such exits as SolarCity’s $158 million acquisition last fall of solar-module mounting startup Zep Solar, writes Mary Ann Azevedo, contributor to Reuters Venture Capital Journal.

Amid Bankruptcies, Solar Also Seeing Interest: UPDATED

Mitt Romney’s campaign jaunt last week to Solyndra’s shuttered headquarters and Konarka’s Chapter 7 filing drew attention to the solar industry’s most high-profile failures. But a look at recent funding data indicates that, if anything, venture investors in the solar sector are still pretty bullish.

Solyndra Gets No Love From Would-Be Buyers

(Reuters) – Solyndra LLC failed to attract any bids on Tuesday from buyers who could have restarted production, brought back some laid off staff and kept the bankrupt solar panel maker operating, according to a company adviser. Solyndra, which owes more than $500 million to the U.S. government, has said a turnkey buyer is the […]

House to Subpoena White House on Solyndra Docs

A House of Representatives panel voted on Thursday to subpoena the White House for emails and other documents related to a $535 million loan to Solyndra, the solar panel maker that went bankrupt and was raided by the FBI, Reuters reported. The subcommittee vote in the Republican-controlled House means the White House — unless it invokes executive privilege — may be asked to release a broad range of emails, including any received about Solyndra on President Barack Obama’s personal Blackberry, Reuters wrote.

Solyndra Failure Didn’t Hurt Redpoint’s Fundraising: Second Growth Fund Comes in at $400M–UPDATED

The very public (and political) failure of Solyndra left a bunch of venture firms with black eyes, but the solar company’s bankruptcy didn’t hurt fundraising efforts for at least one of its backers: Redpoint Ventures. The Silicon Valley venture firm has raised $400 million for its “Redpoint Omega” fund, which will target growth companies. That’s considerably more […]

Top 10 Posts this Week Focus on San Francisco Shindig Photos, Connecticut’s Hits and Misses and Ben Smith’s Take on Entrepreneurship

You just love to look at yourself, don’t you? Photos of our recent San Francisco Shindig were by far the most popular post on peHUB this week, judging by pageviews from our regular readers. Other top posts included Connecticut’s biggest hits and misses with PE and VC investments, Ben Smith’s take on entrepreneurship and Halsey Minor’s reflections on Steve Jobs.

ONE: Shindig Photos: Lookin’ Good, San Francisco!by Lawrence Aragon
TWO: Connecticut’s Biggest PE/VC Hits and Misses (slideshow)by David Toll
THREE: Ben Smith: There’s More to the Startup Game than a Post-Exit Payday. It’s Called Fishingby Ben Smith
FOUR: SLIDESHOW: Ivy League Endowments – Who Did Best In FY2011? (subscribers only) – by Gregory Roth
FIVE: Ex-Houlihan Bankers Launch Firm to Target Technology & Services Companies in D.C.by Luisa Beltran
SIX: Woof! Woof! The 10 Biggest Dogs in UTIMCO’s Portfolio (slideshow) (subscribers only) – by Lawrence Aragon
SEVEN: Halsey Minor: What Steve Jobs Taught Meby Halsey Minor
EIGHT: Lynn Tilton Didn’t Get Her Reality Show But Will Be on 20/20 This Weekby Luisa Beltran
NINE: Q3 VC Deals Surge in NY, Texas and Northwest, But Falter in New England, LA and Midwest (slideshow)by Mark Boslet
TEN: RockPort Feels Pain from Betting Big on Solyndra, Going ‘All In’ on Cleantechby Nichola Groom and Sarah McBride, Reuters

RockPort Feels Pain from Betting Big on Solyndra, Going ‘All In’ on Cleantech

(Reuters) – David Prend is one of the most respected investors in green technology — but even he picks some losers.

Like the Department of Energy, Prend thought Solyndra, an innovative solar company, was a good bet. His venture capital firm, RockPort Capital, began investing in the company three years before the federal government gave the startup a loan guarantee. RockPort eventually put more than $63.5 million into Solyndra.

As revealed in emails released by the White House, Prend, who sat on the company’s board, also touted the company to President Barack Obama’s staff as a stellar example of green job creation and urged the president to visit its California plant.

But the Solyndra bet went bad — for Prend, the DOE, and other investors such as Henry Kravis and Richard Branson. That’s not so unusual in the field of green tech. A closer look at Prend’s portfolio …

Reuters: Venture Capitalist Silver Leaves DOE Loan Program After Solyndra Failure

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The Obama administration said on Thursday its top energy loans official was stepping down, following a widening probe into the embarrassing collapse of a solar panel company that got $535 million in federal support. Jonathan Silver, a venture capitalist who had also worked for the Clinton administration, was leaving because […]

Week’s Top Posts Focus on IRRs for UC and Florida, Q3′s Most Active Acquirors, Solyndra Fallout

Time to catch up on the stories your colleagues found most compelling on peHUB this week. Here are the top 10 posts that garnered the most pageviews from regular readers from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23.

One: Trouble Making Ends Meet: Top 10 Cash Returning Funds In Cal Regents’ Venture Portfolio (Slideshow)by Mark Boslet
Two: Slideshow: Face Scrubbers, Balloon Trips: 16 at CalPERS Face Fines for Alleged Gift Violations (subscribers only) — by Gregory Roth
Three: Slideshow: Q3’s Most Active Buyersby Bernard Vaughan
Four: Slideshow: Top-Performing PE/VC Funds for State of Floridaby David Toll
Five: Wringing Money from a Flagging Venture Fund — for a Price — by Connie Loizos
Six: Blackstone Looks to Advise Startupsby Luisa Beltran
Seven: Pressure on Solyndra Backers Intensifiesby Roberta Rampton, Reuters
Eight: Soros, Schwarzman Move Up On Forbes 400 Richest Listby Luisa Beltran
Nine: Obama Pitches Changes to Carried Interest; PEGCC Rebuts “Buffett Rule”by Luisa Beltran
Ten: MassPRIM Loses Second PE Managerby Gregory Roth

Lawmakers Probe Solyndra Backers Over Loans

WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. Republican lawmakers investigating government loan guarantees to the green energy sector have turned their focus to key private investors in the failed Solyndra solar company, asking them for a huge raft of documents. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee wants Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capitol […]

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Solyndra Execs Decline to Testify

(Reuters) – Solyndra LLC’s chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions put to them at a Congressional hearing on Friday, according to letters from their attorneys obtained by Reuters. In the letters sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and […]

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