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Alastair Goldfisher

In sunny Palm Springs, Calif., where the temperature was expected to reach a high of 78 degrees today, the Clean-Tech Investor Summit is holding its 5th annual conference. The two-day summit, co-produced by International Business Forum and Clean Edge, is chaired by Technology Partners’ Ira Ehrenpreis. The conference kicked off last night, which of course was […]
Just over a month ago, VC firm @Ventures published a critical report called "What's wrong with cleantech venture capital?" It touched on a number of concerns, such as how there is a lot of late stage funds going after companies with no exit opportunities on the horizon. But, to be fair, it said that the cleantech VC model isn't broken. Indeed, the bloom hasn't fallen off the cleantech rose. Last week, the Cleantech Group reported that while the overall volume of venture deals sank last year, investments in cleantech companies totalled $8.4 billion, up nearly 40% from 2007. In Q3, VCs poured $2.6 billion into cleantech, a quarterly record. In the fourth quarter, they invested $1.7 billion into the sector. I bring all of this up because yesterday I was at the VCJ Cleantech Breakfast in Menlo Park, and saw more than 120 people in attendance, eager to hear the panelists speak.
In a tough economy, nothing is safe from the chopping block. Not even the beloved Gary Snoman. Snoman is the digital creation of Blueprint Ventures, which for the past three years has produced humorous holiday greetings featuring the frosty character. The Snoman adventures started with him as an entrepreneur, selling snowman assembly packages to the masses. He then built off of that success and became a venture capitalist, armed with a BlackBerry and a full repertoire of VC jargon. When he last made an appearance 12 months ago, Snoman had become a global jetsetter, traveling to England, India and China. He also expressed some concern over the carried interest tax. However, he should have been more concerned
As the economy contracts and layoffs abound everywhere, the plight of one man seems hardly worth talking about. But on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against William J. "Boots" Del Biaggio III alleging that he defrauded investors, banks and private lenders out of $65 million. According to the SEC complaint, Del Biaggio fraudulently pledged securities owned by innocent customers of a San Francisco-based broker dealer as collateral for more than $45 million in personal loans. The complaint states that Del Biaggio used $25 million of the loan proceeds to purchase an interest in the Nashville Predators professional hockey team, and used the rest
Washington Mutual Inc., the former owner of Washington Mutual Savings Bank, is aiming to sell its stakes in 10 venture funds, according to a bankruptcy court filing last Friday. The VC holdings include investments in Arch Venture Partners (Fund V); ArrowPath Venture Capital (Fund II); Digital Partners (Fund III); FT Ventures (Funds II and III […]
For the most part, the dozen or so venture folk I’ve talked with or emailed in the last week are a positive lot. They admit that the economy is awful and the situation looks grim for a few years to come, but they believe, among other things, that the souring economy will help bring a correction […]
Fund of funds plans mid-market co-investment vehicle targeting buyouts and growth equity
Trond Unneland, who joined Chevron Technology Ventures in August as managing executive, has wrapped his arms around his first fund. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) has committed $75 million to the fourth fund raised by its venture arm, as reported by Dow Jones here. It is the energy company’s largest investment to date in its corporate venturing […]
Don Listwin’s resume includes a 10-year stint at Cisco Systems. But Don doesn’t talk much about his past gigs as he’s squarely focused on his current role, leading Sana Security, a developer of malware defense technology. Don says that he’s put in about $5 million into the San Mateo, Calif.-based company, which is expected to […]
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