Cleantech and Venture Capital week in review

01 Cleantech and Venture Capital week in review

clean energy revolution1 Cleantech and Venture Capital week in review

TerraForm Power Inc., a company formed to own and operate contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison (SUNE) and unaffiliated third parties, has filed for a $50 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TERP, with Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Citi serving as joint bookrunners on the deal.

TerraForm will operate as a “yield co”, which is a way for solar companies to bundle up existing solar power plants and then spin them off into separate entities. Yield cos own and operate solar assets under long-term power-purchase agreements with utilities and any cash generated is paid out as dividends, with the remainder being re-invested in new plants.

 

Hannon Armstrong Infrastructure Capital (HASI), a renewable energy financing company, acquired American Wind Capital Co., a company that monetizes long-term, contracted ground rent/ground lease agreements in solar and wind projects. The deal was valued at $106.65 million, and managed by Marathon Capital. AWCC currently owns leases on more than 40 projects.

The acquisition includes more than 7,500 acres (3,000 hectares) of land leased to three solar farms that’s worth about $60 million and supports projects by companies including Southern Co. and First Solar Inc., Employees and management of the company will form a new company called AWCC Capital, which will continue to invest in land for renewable-energy projects.

In a statement, Hannon Armstrong Chief Executive Jeffrey Eckel said the transaction adds high-quality assets to the company’s pipeline.

“We have acquired high credit quality, long duration lease streams that are senior to the project debt in some of the largest solar and wind projects in the country,” said Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Eckel. “This portfolio diversifies our asset mix while moving us toward our 2014 financial targets and adds another platform for originating new assets that fit well with our REIT structure.”

 

Spark Energy Inc., a Houston, Texas-based natural gas and electricity retailer, has filed for a $92 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SPKE, with Baird and Stifel serving as lead underwriters.

Spark Energy’s filings likely will have fewer details than traditional companies because it is filing as an “emerging growth company” under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) of 2012. The company reports $31 million in net income on $317 million in 2013 revenue, compared to $26 million in net income on $379 million in 2012 revenue.

 

Investors’ Circle, an early-stage impact investing network, closed a $3.1 million investment round. Forty-one investors participated in the round. Investors’ Circle’s commitments typically range from $250,000 to $500,000 per company.

 

Grove Labs, an indoor gardening start-up, received a $2.05 million seed funding round from Upfront Ventures, Felicis Ventures, and Vayner RSE. Also participating are Galvanize Ventures and Timothy Ferriss, angel investor and author of self-help books, as well as his AngelList syndicate, which is the second largest syndicate on the AngelList platform.

The company has developed automated, smartphone-controlled appliances which automatically grow food for consumer. Grove Labs is in the process of product development and hopes to ship its modules next year.

 

Fundrise, a crowdfunding platform focused on finance commercial real estate deals, has raised more than $31 million in its first round of funding from a group of prominent technology, real estate and other backers. Renren, a large social networking company based in China, led the financing round.

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