GaN Systems snags $20 mln

Canada-based GaN Systems Inc, a developer of gallium nitride power switching semiconductors, has raised $20 million in financing. Cycle Capital Management led the round with participation from BDC Capital, Tsing Capital, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and RockPort Capital.

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FirstFuel Software grabs $23 mln Series C

Lexington, Massachusetts-based FirstFuel Software, a customer intelligence platform for energy providers, has raised $23 million in Series C funding. The investors included Next World Capital, Electranova Capital, Battery Ventures, Rockport Capital, Nth Power and E.ON SE. In conjunction with the funding, Tom Rikert, a partner at Next World Capital, has been appointed to FirstFuel’s board of directors.

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InVisage Technologies snaps up $32.5 mln

Menlo Park, Calif.-based camera platform InVisage Technologies has received $32.5 million in funding. The investors in this round included China Oceanwide USA Holdings, GGV Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, InterWest Partners, Intel Capital and RockPort Capital.

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Taxi app Flywheel pulls in $12 mln

Taxi app Flywheel has closed $12 million in Series C funding. The investors were TCW/Craton, Rockport Capital and Shasta Ventures. According to the firm, the capital will be used for growth and expansion.

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NewLeaf Symbiotics closes $17 mln Series B

NewLeaf Symbiotics has closed a $17 million Series B round of financing. Otter Capital led the round and was joined by existing investors RockPort Capital, Open Prairie Ventures and Pangaea Ventures. The company is a St Louis, Missouri-based agricultural bio company focused on the commercialization of beneficial plant bacteria.

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Enlighted scores $20 mln Series D

Enlighted said Wednesday that it has raised $20 million in Series D funding. The investors were previous backers Draper Nexus Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, RockPort Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Intel Capital. Based in Sunnyvale, Calif. and India, Enlighted is a provider of efficiency solutions for commercial environments.

InVisage picks up $18 mln and expands team with new hires

InVisage Technologies has received $18 million in funding. Investors included GGV Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, RockPort Capital, InterWest Partners, Intel Capital and OnPoint Technologies. Also, InVisage has hired Ephraim Kwok as chief financial officer and Emanuele Mandelli as vice president of engineering. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., InVisage is a fabless semiconductor firm.

VC-backed GaN Systems appoints new CEO

GaN Systems has hired Jim Witham as CEO. Girvan Patterson and John Robert, the company’s co-founders, will remain in their current positions as president and chief technical officer, respectively. Prior to joining GaN Systems, Witham worked at Neoconix where he served as president and CEO. Based in Ottawa, Ontario, GaN Systems is a producer of gallium nitride power switching semiconductors. It is backed by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and RockPort Capital.

FirstFuel Software Gets $10M From RockPort, Nth Power, Battery

FirstFuel Software said it raised $10 million in a round led by RockPort Capital and joined by existing investors Nth Power and Battery Ventures. The investment will enable the Massachusetts company, that addresses the commercial building energy analytics market, to expand in the utility and government markets. PRESS RELEASE FirstFuel Raises $10 Million in Series […]

RockPort Capital Promotes Three

RockPort Capital has promoted Abe Yokell, Daniel Hullah and Dhiraj Malkani to partners at the firm. Yokell, who helped open the firm’s Menlo Park office, has been with RockPort since 2004. Hullah and Malkani joined RockPort in the Boston office in 2006. Formed in 2000, RockPort Capital has offices in Boston and Menlo Park.

GaN Secures Series A

Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital has backed GaN Systems, a provider of next generation power conversion semiconductors for cleantech applications. The firm’s investment from its CELP III Fund led the Series A round for the start-up and is joined by Rockport Capital. PRESS RELEASE Today, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, the world’s most active cleantech venture capital […]

GaN Systems Raises Series A From Chrysalix, Rockport

GaN Systems said it raised a Series A found of financing in a deal led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital‘s CELP III Fund and joined by Rockport Capital. The Ottawa startup makes power conversion semiconductors for cleantech applications. PRESS RELEASE Chrysalix Invests in Gallium Nitride Power Conversion Semiconductor Company GaN Systems’ technology stands to change […]

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 …

30 FBI Agents Search Solyndra Offices, Lawmakers Probe Solar Company’s $535M Loan Guarantee

(Reuters) – FBI agents searched the offices of Solyndra on Thursday, the U.S. solar startup that received millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees before filing for bankruptcy this week.

The search comes amid intensifying pressure on the Obama administration, which championed Solyndra as being at the forefront of solar technology when President Barack Obama visited the company’s Fremont, Calif., facility in 2010.

The FBI said it was searching for materials, including documents, but did not offer more specifics.

“We are executing search warrants at Solyndra regarding …

Gazelle Gets $22M Round From Craton, Physic, Venrock, RockPort

Gazelle said Thursday it closed a $22 million series D round of financing led by Craton Equity Partners. The Boston-based e-commerce company’s round received participation from existing investors Physic Ventures, Venrock Associates and RockPort Capital. PRESS RELEASE Gazelle Raises $22 Million Led by Craton Equity Partners Series D Round Primes Gazelle for Continued Industry Leadership […]

GE Backs 10 Companies with $63M

GE and its venture partners are funding 10 home energy start-ups to the tune of $63 million, as part of its $200 million “GE ecomagination Challenge,” the company announced Thursday. The latest round of investments and commercial partnerships are aimed at household energy efficiency. The newly backed companies include Boston-based Ember; Waltham, Mass.-based GMZ Energy; San Mateo, Calif.-based Hara; Austin-based Nuventix; San Francisco-based Project Frog; and San Francisco-based SunRun. GE is co-investing on several companies with venture investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, RockPort Capital and Foundation Capital.

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