GE and VCs Invest $63M in 10 Cleantechs Through “Ecoimagination Challenge”
Fairfield, CT-based GE (NYSE: GE) and four venture capital partners said today they plan to invest a total of $63 million in 10 cleantech companies developing energy-related concepts in solar, communications and software, and building efficiency.
The funding represents the second phase of a crowd-sourcing challenge, this time focused on “Powering Your Home,” that GE launched in January with four venture capital firms, Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Rockport Capital. With today’s announcement, the partners funding a $200 million pool for the “GE ecoimagination Challenge” have so far committed to invest $134 million in companies developing advances in home energy and power grid technologies
The recepients include cleantech companies in three Xconomy cities: Boston, San Francisco and San Diego. GE says its challenge has resulted in a total of 22 new commercial partnerships, as well as the acquisition of FMC-Tech, a smart grid technology company in Shannon, Ireland, that was among 12 companies that received funding in the first-round awards announced last year.
The amount of funding invested in individual companies was not disclosed. The companies are:
Ember, Boston, MA (Communications and software)
GMZ Energy, Waltham, MA (solar systems and services; co-investment with KPCB)
Hara, San Mateo, CA (Communications and software; co-investment with KPCB)
Nuventix, Austin, TX (Building efficiency)
On-Ramp Wireless, San Diego, CA (Communications and software)
Project Frog, San Francisco, CA (Building efficiency; co-investment with RockPort Capital)
SunRun, San Francisco, CA (Residential solar systems and services; co-investment with Foundation Capital)
Viridity Energy, Conshohocken, PA (Communications and software)
VPhase, Manchester, UK (Building efficiency)
WiTricity, Watertown, MA (Communications and software)