News from the previous week of a lifeline investment in A123 Systems by Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang Group appears to have been confirmed last Friday, when public confirmation that a deal had been struck was released. Reuters reports that the $465 million agreement has given Wanxiang four of nine seats on A123′s board.
KPCB‘s Ray Lane caused a stir last week when he speculated that his firm’s portfolio company, Fisker Automotivecould attempt an initial public offering as soon as 2013. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle maker has been widely rumored to be short on cash despite the $1 billion in private investment it has received to date, and a recent shakeup of its management team coupled with vehicle performance issues and a lack of sales traction has many scratching their heads as to why the company would want public markets peering under its hood just yet.
In venture investment, two companies stuck out with Series B rounds last week. Fort Meade, Florida based JDC Phosphate raised $16.4 million from undisclosed investors. The company is a developer of technology allowing phosphate-rich fertilizers to be used more sustainably, reducing groundwater and surface water pollution.
And leading the charge for funding in Europe was Finnish wave energy converter company Wello, with a $3.7 million Series B round from existing investors VNT Management and Finnvera. The company expects to secure further investment in the round, which will support development of its off-shore wave energy conversion device, named “The Penguin”.
In partnership news, Urban Green Energy and General Electric unveiled the world’s first integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station in Barcelona last week. The station, named the “Sanya Skypump”, pairs Urban Green Energy’s vertical wind turbines with GE’s electric vehicle charging technology to offer completely clean energy to power electric vehicles. The pair are targeting more installations in the U.S. and Australia this year.