Cleantech Funds Lead $25.4 Million Investment in Fallbrook Technologies

1/12/09Follow @bvbigelow

One good turn deserves another, and San Diego alternative transmission maker Fallbrook Technologies is ready to shift to the next level. After working more than 10 years to develop a radical new transmission design that helps motors operate more efficiently, Fallbrook announced today it has secured $25.4 million in its first round of venture funding.

NGEN Partners, a Santa Barbara cleantech venture firm, led the financing with a $10 million investment. Another $10 million came from Robeco, the investment arm of Rabobank of The Netherlands. The remaining $5.4 million came from many of the company’s true believers, the angel investors who provided some $25 million in private funding to Fallbrook since the company was founded in 1998.

The additional funding is intended to help Fallbrook gear up and extend the commercialization of its proprietary “NuVinci” technology, a continuously variable “planetary” transmission that smoothly adjusts to increasing speeds without the need to change gears. A more detailed explanation is here.

Fallbrook introduced its transmission in markets for light electric vehicles and bicycles in 2006, and the company says market acceptance has increased steadily—especially in Europe. The company says a NuVinci-equipped bicycle won “Bike of the Year” in The Netherlands and the iF Design EUROBIKE Gold 2008 Award—which helps explain why the Dutch investment bank’s cleantech fund is in the deal. NGEN managing director Steven Parry … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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