GreatPoint Energy Raises $100 Million


Earlier this month, I wrote that we were just weeks away from an important “triple-digital” cleantech VC deal. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say more, because the information was dispensed to me while both me and my source had beers in our hands (which I treat as a confidential condition).

But the round officially closed yesterday, so…

GreatPoint Energy has raised $100 million in Series C funding. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is developing a low-cost gasification technology, which basically can convert coal (dirty) and convert it into methane (cheap & clean). This really could be one of those paradigm-shifting solutions, given that the U.S. has tons of remaining coal reserves.

“We’ll use this to scale out the technology, build a larger-scale demo project, an R&D center (which is likely to be in Massachusetts) and start the development and engineering of our first commercial project,” says GreatPoint chief financial officer Dan Goldman. The company also plans to raise additional capital for its first facility – probably via some sort of project finance – and eventually will return to either the private or public markets for additional cash. 

GreatPoint primarily pitched the deal to strategics, and ended up with a boatload of them. Dow Chemical Co. and Citi Sustainable Investments co-led the deal, with AES Corp. and Suncor Energy also participating. A few undisclosed financial backers also came aboard, alongside existing VC backers Advanced Technology Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

DFJ also invests in another clean coal company called CoalTek, but it’s not exactly a rival to GreatPoint. Rather than converting low-grade coal to natural gas, CoalTek makes coal burn more efficiently and cleaner, by using electromagnetic energy to reduce the moisture, ash, sulfur and mercury in coal.

VentureWire first reported on the round close earlier this morning. A press release is scheduled to go out Monday.