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The Wall Street analysts waiting eagerly for details of Tesla Motors’ planned “Gigafactory” will have been disappointed by the cursory treatment the project got on Wednesday, as the company announced plans to raise $1.6bn.
After all, this is the massive battery-making plant that is meant to cement Tesla’s rise as the world’s first mass-market electric car maker. According to an expansive report by a Morgan Stanley analyst earlier in the week, it could also make it the dominant player in a $1,500bn market for selling energy storage devices to electric utilities. Read more
It may be getting chilly for barbecuing sausages on BioLite’s new attachment to its twig-powered camp stove, but be warmed by the satisfaction of knowing you are helping its efforts to save lives in developing countries.
The US company is leveraging its success with outdoors types to help fund its longer-term project of providing safer stoves for the half of the world’s population that still cooks on open wood fires every day. Read more
The Tesla Model S was Motor Trend car of the year last year and starts at a base price of $62,400. So how could you get one for an all-in cost of $500 a month?
Simple: start by valuing your own time at $100 an hour. That, at least, is according to the creative accounting that Tesla has just come up with for a new lease deal for the vehicle. Read more
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is a legend in the world of software, but the latest project of his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation deals with a very physical, real world problem, writes Vinjeru Mkandawire.
The “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” encourages the use of technology in a very different way from writing code for computer operating systems – Universities are asked to build toilets that operate without running water, electricity or a sewage system. Read more
Funding Circle, a UK-based online marketplace where individuals lend directly to small businesses raised $16m of Series B financing from joint investors Index Ventures and US-based Union Square Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $21m. Launched in August 2010, the company now facilitates around £1m in loans each week. The company is planning to use the funds to double its staff over the next year.
Dragonplay, a Tel Aviv-based games developer raised $14m in a Series A funding from Accel Partners. Dragonplay specializes in makes card, casino and board games for smartphones and social networks and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro, which has more than 2m monthly active players. The company will use the investment to expand its portfolio of games. Read more
Cheaper, brighter, leaner are the qualities driving light-emitting diode advances and no less than three companies have announced breakthroughs on Tuesday that further advance LEDs as our bright, lighting future.
Soraa, a Silicon Valley start-up, has emerged from stealth mode with a halogen-replacement product (pictured), North Carolina-based Cree says its new product delivers twice the lumens per dollar of previous-generation LEDs, while Britain’s Plessey says it has a new process that cuts costs by 80 per cent. Read more
In a panel discussion, Steve Westly, a leading cleantech venture capitalist, said that, while the Californian solar cell maker’s bankruptcy had been a terrible thing, four or five global solar brands would emerge within five to 10 years. Read more
The collapse in solar panel prices has not been bad news for everyone: installers are having a field day. But how do you create a large-scale business quickly in an industry that has always favoured local operators?
US solar installer Sungevity has one answer – it is about to venture into Europe, making it the first to make the move. Read more
The Silicon Valley startup is due to launch a limited commercial service in Denmark and Israel in the first quarter of 2012. Its Series C financing will allow it to expand further in Western Europe, it said on Friday, while it continues to advance deployment projects in Hawaii, Northern California, Canada, Southern China and Japan. Read more