UL Environment Acquires GoodGuide

UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), announced earlier this month that it has acquired GoodGuide, a San Francisco-based company that provide information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of consumer products.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. GoodGuide's was founded in 2008 and its funding included a Series A of $3.73 million and Series B of $5.75 million (more background available here).  

GoodGuide currently offers detailed product information for personal care, household chemical, and food products, as well as appliances, apparel, and automobiles at GoodGuide.com and through mobile applications. The company stated that it has environmental, health, and social data on more than 175,000 products and 5,000 companies.

"We are committed to helping the entire product value chain make healthy and green purchasing decisions," said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. "GoodGuide strengthens our ability to deliver on that commitment."

"We look forward to melding our team and technology with UL Environment's world-class sustainability experts and impressive portfolio of services," said George Consagra, chief executive officer of GoodGuide. "This acquisition represents the union of two mission-driven marketplace leaders that are committed to advancing global sustainability, environmental health, and safety."

According to GoodGuide, it will continue offering its free online and mobile applications to consumers after the acquisition.

Tendril Acquires Recurve

Tendril Tendril, a company that provides technology-based services for energy providers, recently announced it acquired specific intellectual property from Recurve, a San Francisco-based company that makes software for contractors who perform home energy audits and residential retrofits. Tendril stated that Recurve’s current employees will become part of the company's new West Coast operations and Andy Leventhal (Recurve's CEO) will join the Tendril management team. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Recurve was venture-backed and originally known as Sustainable Spaces (prior Green VC coverage available here).

The San Francisco office will be Tendril’s fourth, joining its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, and regional offices in Boston and Melbourne, Australia. Tendril plans to continue to add software development expertise to its team by hiring additional employees in the San Francisco office to support its expanding customer base.  Tendril stated that it will eventually incorporate Recurve's residential energy auditing software and analytics into its cloud platform, TendrilConnect.

"This is a very organic fit," said Adrian Tuck, CEO, Tendril. "Recurve has been providing deep residential energy auditing software for years to the home energy services and retrofit industry. We're thrilled to be leveraging Recurve’s leading building modeling analytics as part of our cloud platform. This enables us to deliver more value to our customers and to add Recurve’s software development expertise to our growing ranks."

"We’re excited to join one of the fastest growing smart energy technology companies," said Andy Leventhal, CEO, Recurve. "Tendril's cloud platform has become the clear choice for utilities, industry leading companies, and application developers to connect consumers to smart energy products and services.  It's exciting to have our software integrated into Tendril's powerful platform."

Tendril was founded in 2004 and has raised at least $73 million dollars from investors VantagePoint Venture Partners, Siemens Venture Capital (SVC), Good Energies, RRE Ventures, and GE.  Recurve is Tendril’s second acquisition.  The company acquired GroundedPower in October 2010. Tendril CEO Andrian Tuck discusses the GroundedPower acquisition in the following video. 

GOOD Acquires Jumo

GOOD Worldwide

GOOD, a Los Angeles, California-based media company with a mission to help individuals, businesses, and non-profits live well and do good, announced last week that it acquired Jumo, a social network for causes. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Jumo was founded by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes and launched in 2010. According to TechCrunch, Jumo had received $3.5 million in funding from sources including the Omidyar Network and the Knight Foundation.  Hughes will join GOOD as a senior advisor and according to an e-mail sent to Jumo members "in the spirit of our heritage as a non-profit, [Jumo] will be open-sourcing our own codebase to enable other social entrepreneurs to use our progress thus far for their own endeavors."

For more information

3BL Media Acquires Justmeans

3BL Media and Justmeans Logo

3BL Media, a Northampton, Massachusetts-based company that provides news distribution services in the corporate social responsibility and sustainability sectors, announced on Thursday that it has acquired Justmeans, a company that provides online and other services to the sustainable business community.

According to an article published by Triple Pundit, this transaction was signed for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity, as well as a reallocation of shares for the current shareholders of the two companies.  The article also states that the company headquarters will continue to be in Northampton and that the new organization will consist of 17 employees.

Martin Smith, CEO of Justmeans, will now serve as Chairman of the Board for 3BL Media.  Mr. Smith stated, "As the CSR and sustainability market space is maturing, it is natural for consolidation to occur.  This acquisition is one of a number of partnership and acquisitions that 3BL Media will be announcing." Mr. Smith is also the Founder of StartingBloc, a social enterprise that educates and connects emerging leaders to drive social innovation across sectors.

"The advent of social media and Web 2.0 provided new challenges to traditional distribution services.  3BL Media's model of unlimited distribution of blogs, press releases, videos and other content, through both traditional and social media channels provides the best opportunity for impact, influence and reach," says Greg Schneider, CEO of 3BL Media.

Sharp Acquires Recurrent Energy for Up To $305 Million

Recurrent Energy

Recurrent Energy and Sharp Corporation anounced earlier this month that they have reached a definitive agreement for Sharp to acquire Recurrent Energy for up to $305 million in cash at closing, subject to balance sheet adjustments.  The acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.  Recurrent Energy is a Hudson Clean Energy Partners portfolio company (see prior Green VC coverage). Other shareholders include Mohr Davidow Ventures.

Recurrent Energy, based in San Francisco, is a solar project developer and generating company with a 2 GW pipeline.  Recurrent Energy will retain its name and operate as a subsidiary of Sharp after the acquisition. Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy, will continue to lead the company and report to Toshishige Hamano, Sharp’s Executive Vice President responsible for overseas business.  Recurrent Energy’s executive team and employees will also continue with the company.

"We are excited to have reached a definitive agreement for Sharp to acquire Recurrent Energy, a leading solar project developer and generating company with a 2 GW pipeline. It is essential for Sharp to function as a developer in the photovoltaic field, in order to further expand its business in this area. With Recurrent Energy’s know-how as a developer, Sharp aims to become a total solutions company in the photovoltaic field, extending from developing and producing solar cells and modules to developing and marketing power generation plants," said Toshishige Hamano.

"We're thrilled to reach this agreement with Sharp, a company known for its global leadership in solar technology," said Arno Harris, CEO, Recurrent Energy. "Sharp's support will help us to accelerate our growth and further cement Recurrent Energy’s goal to build the leading global solar generating company."

"We’ve enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the Recurrent Energy team and believe Sharp is the right partner to accelerate the growth of the business," said Neil Auerbach, a Recurrent Energy director and Managing Partner at Hudson Clean Energy Partners.

Constellation Energy to Acquire CPower

Constellation Energy, a Fortune 500 energy company, announced earlier this month that it has signed an agreement to acquire CPower, an energy management and demand response provider managing approximately 850 megawatts of demand response capacity in North America.  The transaction would expand Constellation Energy's total demand response capacity to 1,500 megawatts. Terms of this transaction were not disclosed and it is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010. 

"We believe customer demand and technological innovation will drive strong growth in the demand response market in the years ahead," said Kathleen Hyle, senior vice president, Constellation Energy, and chief operating officer of the company's commercial division. "The acquisition of CPower, one of the largest, most innovative and most respected players in the demand-management field today, will greatly expand our customer base, sales presence and business partner community in key markets such as Texas, New England and the PJM Interconnection regional transmission organization, where Constellation Energy is an energy supply leader.

"The addition of CPower to our team will strengthen cross-selling opportunities and operational capabilities, and will enhance demand-management product development," Hyle said. "The expanded sales and marketing presence and diverse demand response expertise will accelerate deployment and commercialization of our recently introduced online energy management product, VirtuWatt, which is redefining the way power-intensive businesses reduce demand and lower energy bills."

"As electricity load management and demand response become ubiquitous offerings, users of energy are seeking a business partner that can provide the maximum value – for management of both the purchasing and the use of electricity," said Gary Fromer, chief executive officer, CPower. "As a critical, integrated component of Constellation Energy, we will be able to provide unparalleled value to our customers and business partners immediately, and will be in a spectacular position to innovate, with new VirtuWatt-based value offerings that have been unavailable in the demand response markets heretofore."

NRG Energy to Acquire Green Mountain Energy Company for $350 Million

NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 energy company, announced earlier this month that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Green Mountain Energy Company, a retail provider of clean energy products and services in the U.S., for $350 million in cash.  This transaction is expected to close by mid-November.

Green Mountain was founded in 1997 and offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon offset products.  Upon the close of this transaction Green Mountain will be run as a standalone business within NRG.

“A permanent and fast-growing portion of the American population is seeking to live sustainably across all key phases of their lifestyle, including the energy they use in their homes, at work and in their personal transportation. Green Mountain understands that customer base and serves it better than any other retail energy provider,” said David Crane, NRG President and Chief Executive Officer. “Increasingly NRG, with our expanding portfolio of wind, solar and biomass initiatives, working with and through Green Mountain, is poised to become the clean energy provider of choice for Americans who want to make a difference for the environment.”

“Our acquisition by NRG strengthens Green Mountain’s ability to provide the clean energy products that our customers value, while allowing us to reach new markets and offer greater consumer choice—all while preserving our founding ideals,” said Paul Thomas, Green Mountain President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers will continue to be Green Mountain customers.”

ULC Standards Acquires TerraChoice

ULC Standards, an independent, non-profit standards development organization, recently announced that it acquired majority ownership of TerraChoice, a Ottawa, Canada-based organization that provides environmental certification and green marketing services, and serves as the exclusive manager of the EcoLogo Program. TerraChoice joins UL Environment as part of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) global network that provides environmental services to companies worldwide. TerraChoice's Canadian operations, office location, and staff will remain in place and continue to serve its more than 500 customers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1988, the EcoLogo Program awards its mark to products that demonstrate environmental leadership within their category. An audit process verifies that each product complies with the criteria established in EcoLogo Standards, which restrict certification to only the top 20 percent of products within a specific category. More than 7,000 EcoLogo-certified products are currently available on the market.

Among TerraChoice's other initiatives, it has published the Sins of Greenwashing studies of environmental claims in consumer markets.

"For more than two decades, TerraChoice has led the development and adoption of sustainable product standards in Canada, and established EcoLogo as one of the most credible eco-labels in the world," said UL Environment President, Stephen Wenc. "By joining forces, we are enhancing our leadership in the global market for sustainable product certification and environmental claims validation. This important convergence will also streamline the process of turning environmental leadership into a competitive advantage for manufacturers and service providers."

"Working together, TerraChoice and UL Environment will accelerate the critical movement toward sustainable products and consumption by providing complementary services for the global sustainability market," said Scott McDougall, President of TerraChoice. "With Underwriters Laboratories' worldwide network of professionals, we will bring greater value to our existing customers and will reach and assist a wider group of companies making genuine environmental progress. We believe that a growing number of buyers will seek out the EcoLogo and UL Environment Sustainable Product Certification marks to identify products that are better for people and for our planet."

Six Apart Acquires NaturalPath Media

Six Apart, a San Francisco, California-based company that provides blogging and conversational marketing solutions, announced earlier this month the acquisition of NaturalPath Media, an online media network for the sustainable, healthy and conscious living verticals.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"NaturalPath Media is a valuable addition to the Six Apart Media network and strengthens our ability to help marketers reach highly influential green and healthy living consumers while they are engaging with content and conversations that are important to them," said Chris Alden, CEO and Chairman of Six Apart. "By joining the Six Apart Media program NaturalPath Media publishing partners will be able to generate more revenue and increase traffic through our innovative conversational marketing programs which are sponsored by well known brands seeking to build awareness for their sustainability and cause-driven initiatives."

"The combination allows NaturalPath Media to leverage Six Apart's conversational marketing tools and massive audience reach to bring scalable brand marketing to the evolving social web," said David Phillips, CEO and Chairman of NaturalPath Media. "NaturalPath will retain its distinct identity as the web's #1 Green Media Network with a values-driven mission shared by its premium publishers in the green, wellness and conscious lifestyle categories."

For more information:

Environmental Business Cluster Presents “M&A Activity” on June 28 (Discount Available)

On June 28, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) will present the next program in the Funding a Cleantech Company Series, entitled M&A Acitivity.  An overview of this program is:

We have seen changes in M&A activity in the cleantech industry, but how does that affect the future of your company and the industry as a whole? Has M&A stalled or are deals fewer and far between but larger in scope? Alternatively, has the pace quickened but with monumental changes to the structure of a deal? Most importantly, how can you position your company to make acquisition an attractive option? Join this panel to hear M&A strategy perspective from the acquirer and the acquired, the investor, and the lawyer.

The presenters for this program will be:

  • Eric Wesoff, Senior Analyst, Greentech Media
  • Gerd Goette, Investment Partner, Siemens Venture Capital

This event will take place from 3:00 – 7:00 pm at Fenwick & West, 801 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94041. Thanks to our friends at EBC, readers of Green VC can obtain discounted tickets when registering in advance by following these steps:

  • Go to the online event registration page
  • Select your tickets from the "Partner" section of the page
  • Enter "Green VC" (without quotes) in the "Please indicate partner network" section of the page

Early pre-registration is recommended for this event.  For more information: