11 May Shifting their energies
In 2003, when Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm, started looking for new investors for Silver Spring Networks, one of its portfolio of companies, it was rejected by every firm it called.
Silver Spring Networks puts network cards in electric meters to more closely track power use.
Investors in clean technology were just not excited about Silver Spring, because it makes hardware and software that utilities use to connect electric meters in a digital grid. They were more interested in companies that envisioned making energy from the sun’s rays, algae or tropical plants.
“People laughed at us,” said Adam Grosser, a partner at Foundation Capital.
Last summer, the thinking in Silicon Valley began to shift. Five top venture firms vied to invest in Silver Spring. The company chose Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, perhaps the most well-known green technology investor, and two of its partners, John Doerr and Al Gore, joined Silver Spring’s advisory board.
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