Opportunity to Meet with Khosla Ventures on December 1 (Discount Available)

Khosla Ventures

On December 1, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) will provide an opportunity to meet with Khosla VenturesThis program is part of EBC's "Meet with" series - a partnering and coaching series designed to facilitate meetings between cleantech entrepreneurs and investors, customers and potential partners. After a presentation, each attendee will receive a one-on-one meeting with Khosla Ventures team member Ryan Kottenstette.

Attendees must apply in advance and be approved to attend.  Additional information on how to apply is available here.

Separate from the one-on-one meetings, there is an opportunity to attend a presentation and Q&A on December 1 from 10:30 am – 11:30 am where Mr. Kottenstette will explain how entrepreneurs can work with Khosla Ventures and what the firm looks for in a company.  Thanks to our friends at EBC, readers of Green VC can receive a discount to this event.  Please select the "Partner Rate" ticket when registering online.

The one-on-one and general presentation session will be held at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Khosla Ventures Raises $1.05 Billion in New Investment Fund

Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm baed in Silicon Valley, announced earlier this month that it has raised a new $1.05 billion fund – Khosla Ventures IV.  The firm will continue its strategy of investing in early stage companies in the clean tech, IT, mobile, and Internet technology sectors.

"We have identified the 'Clean Dozen' companies in clean tech that can achieve unsubsidized market competitiveness and the 'Cool Dozen' categories in Internet and mobile in the post-PC world such as big data, emotion, interest graphs and consumer health," said Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla.

Khosla Ventures IV follows the Khosla Ventures III fund and Khosla Ventures seed fund. The Khosla Ventures III fund of $1 billion of investor commitments focused on traditional early stage and growth stage companies. Khosla Ventures also previously raised $300 million for the Khosla Ventures seed fund which invests in high-risk, high-return opportunities, particularly groundbreaking science or internet developments, besides traditional venture investments.

"We fundamentally invest in the companies that we expect to have significant impact, and that’s precisely what the Khosla Ventures IV fund will do," said Khosla. "We don't mind failing but do care that the impact be material if we do succeed; and we believe that our willingness to fail gives us an ability to succeed. We will continue to not compute IRR's when investing as we believe in helping entrepreneurs build companies with high impact and high option value that are not subject to traditional financial metrics."

"In clean tech, our IPO's and other exits that have generated almost a billion dollars in profits personify this strategy. We endeavor to be the earliest investors in disruptive Internet and mobile companies which have gone on to complete exciting financings such as Square, Jawbone, ZocDoc and Lookout,” continued Khosla. "Instead of following the herd strategy of investing where others are investing, we continue to try and originate new areas in both sectors. We will also continue to attempt new strategies in venture by providing more venture assistance to companies such as putting together an operational group." As Khosla has often said, "We are not in the venture capital business. We are in the venture assistance business."

You can view Khosla Ventures' cleantech portfolio here and prior coverage on Green VC here.

PVT Solar Obtains $13.7 Million in Series B Round of Financing

PVT Solar, a Berkeley, California company that designs, manufactures, and markets the Echo solar system, recently announced that it closed a $13.7 million Series B financing round. Sigma Partners led this round of financing and was joined by Khosla Ventures and Energy & Environment Investment, Japan. In 2009, Khosla Ventures led PVT Solar's initial round of financing. The following video illustrates the company's Echo system.

PVT Solar also announced that Vikas Desai has been appointed CEO. Desai was previously vice president and general manager of SunPower Corporation's residential and light commercial business unit, which he grew to $1 billion in annualized revenues.

"The Echo solar system is the best solar solution available to homeowners today, it is a game changing technology," said Fahri Diner, managing director, Sigma Partners. "We're impressed that the Echo solar system has achieved significant traction in the market so quickly, and that PVT Solar has secured Meritage Homes, Joseph Carl Homes, and other leading homebuilders as customers. Additionally, Vikas Desai's management and engineering expertise — and that of his team — will help ensure PVT Solar's continued steady growth."

"PVT Solar is extremely focused on delivering a superior customer experience," noted Desai. "To that end, we've added two key individuals with a proven track record in this area. Steve Walden (previously with Masco Corporation) is PVT Solar's new director of national sales, and Mike Harshfield (previously with McDonald's) has been named director of field operations. These hires will enhance PVT Solar sales, channel development, field operations and installation efforts — generating sales, driving deployment, and accelerating adoption of Echo solar energy systems."

"We've built a team with a successful track record of innovation and achievement," said Desai. "We're very proud to be adding such outstanding professional talent and acumen to our team as we scale up our operations and accelerate our growth to meet the increased demand for Echo." 

Battery Company Sakti3 Receives $4.2 Million from General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures

Sakti3 Sakti3, Inc., an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based developer of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, announced earlier this month that it received an investment of $4.2 million from General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures to advance the firm’s manufacturing capabilities. The companies also plan to work together to speed commercialization of Sakti3 battery cells. These two investors join previous investors Khosla Ventures and Beringea.  In April of this year Sakti3 received $7 million in Series B financing from Khosla Ventures and Beringea.

“These investments by General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures bring us not only capital, but partnerships that will speed our commercialization efforts,” said Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3. “Our product planning in the automotive and portables sectors will be accelerated by working with these two preeminent firms. The General Motors agreement partners us with a company that is clearly a global leader in vehicle electrification. Itochu Technology Ventures has a strong focus on energy technologies, and on growth markets in Asia. We’re very pleased to have engaged investors who will help us purposefully and quickly create our target products and address key regional markets.”

"GM Ventures is making strategic investments in new technology to support our core automotive business," said Jon Lauckner, president GM Ventures, LLC. "Our objective is to identify start-up companies that offer the best future technology for our vehicles, including next generation propulsion systems. In this case, our investment in Sakti3 gives us access to an innovative battery technology that has the potential to be a mainstream solution for electrically-driven cars and trucks of the future."

The following video contains additional background on Sakti3.

EcoMotors Obtains Series B Financing from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates

EcoMotorsEcoMotors International, a Troy, Michigan-based company that is developing and commercializing a new engine technology, announced on Monday that if has secured Series B funding from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates. 

The company stated that this funding will be sufficient for it to complete engineering and testing of its OPOC engine. The company claims that its technology, which uses an architecture of opposed pistons and opposed cylinders, provides significant benefits compared to conventional engines, including lower cost, lighter weight, and higher efficiency. Professor Peter Hofbauer (EcoMotors Chairman and CTO) provides a brief overview of OPOC in the following video:

“opoc is precisely the kind of game-changing innovation that we at Khosla Ventures are passionate about,” said Khosla. “The only truly disruptive technologies are those that can provide not only payback in months but also economic and carbon benefits to large segments of the world’s population without the need for subsidies or massive infrastructure investments. Among next-generation propulsion systems, the opoc engine is broadly applicable and can provide lower carbon emissions than almost any other technology.”

“The opoc engine can be an important step in providing affordable, low-emission transportation for the developing world,” said Gates.  “EcoMotors has developed a promising technology that could help reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions in a low-cost, globally relevant way.”

Tony Blair Joins Khosla Ventures as Senior Advisor

Khosla VenturesKhosla Ventures, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm that focuses on cleantech and information technology startups, announced in May that Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his team at Tony Blair Associates will serve as Senior Advisors to the firm. In this role, Tony Blair Associates will provide strategic advice to Khosla Ventures' portfolio of green technology companies.  Among his current activities, Tony Blair leads the Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative, a strategic partnership with The Climate Group which is working with world leaders to build consensus on a new comprehensive international climate policy framework.

"I have always admired Mr. Blair's early and consistent commitment to addressing climate change," said Mr. Khosla. "His goals align so well with our own mission to support disruptive startups in the cleantech space and to find technology solutions that can achieve unsubsidized market competitiveness for green technologies. We believe in attempting to achieve the 'Chindia price point,' the price at which even developing countries will voluntarily adopt these carbon efficient technologies. It's a price that is either cheaper than fossil alternatives or can achieve less than one year payback for efficiency investments, and is the key to scalable global adoption of environmentally beneficial technologies. With Tony's advice and influence, we will create opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to devise practical solutions that can solve today's most pressing crisis at a global scale while creating new jobs, new businesses and new sources of sustainable growth. Many more Google, Apple and Facebook-like new companies will be created in the environmental space based on breakthrough black swan technologies."

"Solving the climate crisis is more than just a political agenda item — it's an urgent priority that requires innovation, creativity, and ambition," said Tony Blair. "I share a clear vision with Vinod, one of the earliest leaders in cleantech investment, that entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond will have a tremendous impact on our environmental future. Vinod's portfolio companies are galvanizing scientific and technological know-how into businesses that can make a huge difference in reducing carbon and other emissions, and I look forward to dedicating a portion of my time to help them move us toward a more sustainable tomorrow. The Khosla Ventures organization is particularly effective in assisting entrepreneurs to develop and deploy their technologies all over the world."

Opportunity to Meet with Khosla Ventures on November 13

Khosla Ventures

On November 13, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) will provide an opportunity to meet with Khosla VenturesThis program is part of EBC's "Meet with" series - a partnering and coaching series designed to facilitate meetings between cleantech entrepreneurs and investors, customers and potential partners. After a presentation, each attendee will receive a one-on-one meeting with Alex Kinnier, Partner at Khosla Ventures.

Attendees must apply in advance and be approved to attend.  To apply, please send your Executive Summary by Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 9:00 am PST to Erika at <Erika [at] prescienceintl.com>. You will be notified on November 6 if your application is accepted or rejected. Registration must be completed upon approval to secure your meeting slot.  Costs are as follows:

  • Application fee: FREE
  • Registration for one company representative: $100
  • Registration for two company representatives: $175
  • Registration for three company representatives: $225

For more information:

Khosla Ventures Announces $1 Billion in New Funds and New Partners

Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures, a Menlo Park, CA-based venture capital firm, today announced two new funds (Khosla Ventures III, Khosla Ventures Seed) and stated that these funds have raised more than one billion dollars. In addiiton, Khosla Ventures announced that Gideon Yu and Jim Kim have joined as partners.

"The broader capital base and team allow us to accelerate what we do, which I call venture assistance — we assist and mentor entrepreneurs," said Vinod Khosla, the firm's founder. "We will continue to foster high risk technology innovation and unproven but high impact science experiments, now with greater resources."

About the New Funds

  • Khosla Ventures III: Originally targeted at $750 million, this fund represents the first external funds raised by Khosla Ventures.  Khosla Ventures III will make early and mid-stage venture investments, with the potential to provide additional funding to companies that have received these investments as they grow.
  • Khosla Ventures Seed: Originally targeted at $250 million, this fund will focus on the highest risk projects that may not be able to obtain funding from other sources.

Khosla Ventures indicated that amount of money raised for these funds exceeded their original targets. The focus of both funds will be consistent with Khosla Ventures' prior investing activity and will include clean energy, efficiency, sustainable materials and information technology.

New Partners Announced

Khosla Ventures also announced that Gideon Yu and Jim Kim have joined the firm as partners.  Yu has previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Facebook, Chief Financial Officer of YouTube, and Treasurer / Senior Vice President Finance at Yahoo. Kim's experience includes working in cleantech investing at CMEA and at GE Capital.

"We are not financiers. Capital is a small part of what we provide to entrepreneurs," said Pierre Lamond. "We like to understand the technologies we invest in ourselves, then focus on building the right team that understands the underlying technology. This is becoming even more critical in the technology-intensive world of Cleantech."

For more information:

Pierre R. Lamond to Join Khosla Ventures

A brief item — a number of media outlets reported earlier this week that Pierre R. Lamond will be joining Khosla Ventures, which has been an active investor in clean technology, in April as a Senior Partner.  Lamond currently serves as Partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, where he has worked since 1981.

For more information: