Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Announces Greentech Investment in Altra
Inc. and $100,000 KPCB Prize for Green Innovation
Launches Greentech Innovation Network for Green Policy and Technology
SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2006 -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) -- a leader
in providing venture and relationship capital SM services -- announced an
investment in biofuel leader Altra Inc. (Altra) and the new KPCB Prize for
Green Innovation as part of KPCB's "Greentech initiative."
"Altra is a national leader in ethanol production," said John Doerr, KPCB
partner. "Its unique, proprietary technology and strong, passionate team make
it a sustainable, high-impact business. Altra is creating a nationwide ethanol
production footprint by acquiring and 'speeding up' existing, traditional
corn-to-ethanol plants and by 'starting up' new ones."
Based in Los Angeles, California, Altra has signed a definitive agreement to
acquire California's largest operating ethanol plant.
"We've known Larry Gross, Altra's CEO, for a long time," said KPCB partner
John Denniston, who serves on Altra's board. "Larry's leadership and
exceptional team will make a big difference in bringing ethanol to consumers.
Altra's team has over 100 years of combined experience in producing ethanol,
and will bring important innovations to the industry."
"KPCB's commitment to and leadership in Greentech makes them an extremely
helpful and well-networked investor," Gross said. "We share a common goal of
innovating to create new, green sources of energy. We believe Altra's strategy
and national footprint enables us to better serve consumers than smaller,
Altra has invested in five biofuels plants, which will have the capacity to
produce 175 million gallons of ethanol and 80 million gallons of biodiesel
each year. The total financing of over $50 million included funding from KPCB,
The Angeleno Group, Khosla Ventures, Omninet Private Equity and Sage Capital
KPCB also announced the KPCB Prize for Green Innovation, a $100,000 annual
prize awarded for the best technology or policy innovation in Greentech. A
panel of five independent judges will select and announce the first winner in
"This award will encourage innovation in sustainable, green growth," said KPCB
partner Brook Byers. "We will bring worldwide recognition to entrepreneurs who
achieve breakthroughs in green energy generation, storage, conservation or
policies, whether from an individual or a team, whether public or private,
anywhere in the world."
KPCB today inaugurates the Greentech Innovation Network with 50 of the world's
leading entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers. They are gathering from
the United States, Asia, Europe and South America to build a strategic map for
evaluating needs and encouraging innovation, and to forge new partnerships.
Insights from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman,
a "geo-green", will keynote the networking event.
KPCB partner Bill Joy will lead a series of inspirational talks by four green
thought leaders: Dr. Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology
professor; Dr. Jose Goldemberg, Environmental Secretary of Sao Paulo, Brazil
and Universidade de Sao Paulo professor; Dr. R.K. Pachauri, UN Global
International Panel of Climate Change Chairman and Director General of The
Energy and Resources Institute; and Dr. Martha Symko-Davies, National
Renewable Energy Laboratory Senior Project Leader.
"Three huge trends are driving our Greentech agenda," Doerr explained. "First,
urbanization is the largest trend on the planet. Four billion people will move
into megacities in the next 50 years, and they all want green transportation,
water, and energy. Second, climate change and global warming are accelerating
at alarming rates. And third, we are addicted to oil, funding both sides of
the war on terrorists, weakening democracy and our economy and damaging the
environment. We must change our policies and practices and accelerate
innovation. The KPCB Greentech Innovation Network is an ongoing initiative for
collaboration among the world's best innovators."
"We have been quietly investing in Greentech for several years," added Ray
Lane, KPCB partner. "We've backed four new ventures since announcing our
Greentech initiative in February of this year. These, together with five
previous ventures, are innovating for green and sustainable growth. We're
seeing more and more entrepreneurs address critical environmental needs. This
workshop is not a conference, it is a networking event to 'help solve the
problem' by collaborating in five Greentech areas. They are electricity
generation and storage, electricity efficiency, alternative fuels,
transportation efficiency and carbon reduction policies."
KPCB has previously announced investments in Lilliputian Systems, which
produces micro fuel cells for portable and wireless devices, and Miasole (www.miasole.com),
which makes a flexible, low-cost photovoltaic cell for large-scale solar
energy. Six other Greentech ventures are in stealth mode.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, KPCB has backed entrepreneurs in over 450
ventures, including AOL, Align Technology, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq
Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, IDEC
Pharmaceuticals, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, LSI Logic, Sun
Microsystems, Symantec, VeriSign and Xilinx. More than 150 of the firm's
portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved
success through mergers and acquisitions. Additional information can be found
About Altra Inc.
Formed in 2004 as Malibu Capital Partners, Inc., Altra acquires and develops a
portfolio of renewable energy projects. They are specifically focused on the
production and sale of ethanol and biodiesel. Altra intends to become the
leading integrated biofuels company in the United States, employing
state-of-the-art manufacturing, processing technologies and customer service
disciplines as a key biofuels supplier to petroleum companies and other
significant end-users. For more information, visit
Jennifer Graham (415) 591-4016,
John Denniston (650) 233-3300,
Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers