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Alphabet Energy closes $12m in venture capital

16 Sep 2011

Alphabet Energy, a developer of thermoelectric materials for waste-heat recovery, has closed $12m in Series A financing.

TPG Biotech, the venture arm of TPG, led the round, with participation from existing investors Claremont Creek Ventures and the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund.

Following the deal, Dr Mark Gudiksen of TPG Biotech has joined Alphabet’s board of directors, with Dr Geoff Duyk of TPG Biotech joining as a board observer.

The funding will enable Alphabet Energy to accelerate product development, deploy initial pilot projects, grow the team, and relocate to a new facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company said.

The company closed $1m in seed financing in May 2010.
Alphabet Energy’s product, currently in prototyping, is a turnkey solution for the generation of electricity from wasted heat. The company said it aims to become the leader in the potential $100bn global market for products that convert medium- to high-grade waste heat into electricity — part of an existing $75bn annual market for energy efficiency and a $6bn annual market for industrial equipment.
In the near term, the company said it plans to deliver waste-heat-to-electricity generators that utilise hot exhaust gas from heavy industrial applications and engines as an energy source.

‘Alphabet’s approach is currently the only in the field of thermoelectrics that has the potential to generate electricity at or below grid parity,’ said Mark Gudiksen of TPG Biotech. ‘We believe that waste heat is an enormous and important resource. Matt’s product vision, Alphabet’s outstanding team, and their highly differentiated technological approach makes Alphabet the leading opportunity in this sector.’

‘Alphabet has made tremendous progress in a very short period of time and has developed silicon-based thermoelectric products that it will deploy commercially,’ added Paul Straub, a director at Claremont Creek Ventures. ‘Alphabet’s approach enables recycling of wasted heat energy in a range of applications, each of which constitute enormous multi-billion dollar markets where conventional waste heat-recovery approaches, including thermoelectrics, have previously been limited by performance and economic considerations.’

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