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Partners Group AG is a global private markets management firm with over EUR 33 billion in assets under management in private equity, private infrastructure, private real estate and private debt. The firm manages a broad range of funds, structured products and customized portfolios for an international clientele of institutional investors, private banks and other financial institutions. Wikipedia.

Partners Group | Date: 2014-09-19

A system is disclosed that relates to a system for creating a multi-sensory environment room and more particularly to a system that enables the environment of a room to be selectively controlled to provide an integrated multi-sensory experience which includes video, sound and ambient scent technology which are all directed to a common theme which can be selectively customized. The multi-sensory environment room provides a calming and memorable setting that can showcase the decedents life in a refreshing, upbeat setting. For example, a visual of waves crashing at the shore paired with the smell of fresh, salty air and the sounds of seagulls and surf of a special place shared with the decedent. Alternately, the environment can be personalized with sounds and scents that recreate the family memories or a patriotic theme that can highlight your loved ones values and devotion to country. A custom or stock video can be displayed using the picture within a picture feature to customize the experience even more. The multi-sensory environment system overcomes formal stoic environment, for example, of a funeral home and lowers the anxiety of the decedents family members and guests in attendance.

News Article
Site: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/category/solar

Silicon Ranch Corporation, an independent power producer that develops, owns, and operates solar power plants in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi, closed on a $100 million equity investment from the $50 billion Partners Group. Silicon Ranch recently completed its first projects in Colorado. Earlier this month Silicon Ranch "entered into a framework agreement for 231.6 megawatts" of First Solar's PV modules for use in Silicon Ranch projects to be constructed in 2017 and early 2018. The company is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Mosaic, a provider of residential solar loans and financing, just closed a $200 million warehouse facility with DZ BANK (the fourth-largest bank in Germany) acting as "administrative agent and lead lender." NY Green Bank is participating in the syndicate "to further expand residential solar opportunities within New York state." Billy Parish, CEO at Mosaic, said in a release, “With 40 percent consecutive monthly growth for over a year, we needed partners who could take us to the next level," adding, "The partnership with DZ BANK and NY Green Bank moves us toward our goal of having the ability to originate $1 billion in residential solar loans by the end of year to meet growing consumer demand for a simple, affordable solar finance solution.” If Mosaic "aims to originate $1 billion in home solar loans in the next year," that's (very roughly) more than 200 megawatts' worth of solar loans. Peter Thiel (co-founded PayPal, first outside investor in Facebook, one of the largest shareholders of Airbnb) and Solamere Capital (founded by Tagg Romney) just invested $100 million in Vivint Smart Home, a provider of integrated smart home devices, including door locks, thermostats, cameras and sensors. Vivint has more than 1 million customers and revenue of more than $650 million. As Stephen Lacey just reported, Aquion Energy pulled in another $33 million to support its saltwater batteries for long-duration storage, according to a filing with the SEC. Aquion hopes to raise $60 million in total. The latest round brings the company's venture funding -- which includes equity investments and venture loans -- to $190 million. Aquion CEO Scott Pearson would not comment on the investors who participated in the round, but he did say that it includes "existing and new investors." Aquion's long list of past investors is impressive. It includes Bill Gates, Gentry Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Bright Capital, Advanced Technology Ventures, Trinity Capital Investment and CapX Partners, Yung’s Enterprise, and Nick and Joby Pritzker. Aquion's sodium-ion battery is designed for multi-hour applications. According to the company, its batteries can deliver a round-trip efficiency of 85 percent and perform 5,000 cycles. The company's cost target is $250 per kilowatt-hour, with the goal of getting to $160 per kilowatt-hour when its manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania is at scale. While short-duration lithium-ion batteries are dominating the market, investors are increasingly interested in batteries that can discharge over long periods of time. Investments are flowing in the flow battery business, with ViZn Energy Systems the latest to raise funds to scale up its zinc-based chemistry. The startup has raised another $10 million of an ongoing round of investment, according to a regulatory filing, as just reported by GTM's Jeff St. John. The newly disclosed investment adds to $1.4 million in April 2015 and $5.3 million added in October, and brings ViZn’s total funding in this round to $16.8 million of a target of $22.9 million. Back in June 2015, CEO Ron Van Dell told us the company was seeking about that amount to scale up from its then-pilot scale level of deployments. Since then, ViZn has landed a 2-megawatt order with Hecate Energy for a storage project in the territory of Canadian grid operator Ontario IESO, as well as establishing a contract manufacturing relationship with Jabil. The company had raised $20 million previously from “high-net-worth individuals,” Van Dell said. ViZn’s key differentiator is its use of zinc -- a cheap and plentiful metal, but a tricky one to use in flow batteries. Specifically, it tends to gum up the electrode materials in the cells used to generate electricity in flow batteries. ViZn’s solutions, built around technology developed by Lockheed Martin, takes into account “how to do the zinc morphology, how to manage the fluid mechanics of your design, how to deal with shunt current,” the CEO said. Other zinc-based flow battery makers include Australia’s RedFlow Energy Storage Solutions, which is bringing a residential-sized battery to market, and U.S.-based Primus Power, which raised $25 million in September. While not a flow battery, Eos Energy Storage’s zinc-aqueous batteries have landed multi-megawatt contracts with California utilities. Tado, a Munich-based maker of smart thermostat and AC control products, raised $23 million in VC funding from Inven Capital, a VC arm of energy company Cez Group, along with Siemens AG, Statkraft Venture Capital, Target Partners, Shortcut Ventures and BayBG, according to TechCrunch, which reports, "The company’s two current products are a smart thermostat -- resulting in Tado sometimes being called the Nest of Europe -- and a smart AC controller. Both enable a home’s heating/cooling to be controlled via the Tado smartphone app, with a flagship geolocation feature that means Tado is able to know when you have left home or are returning and adjusts your heating or air conditioning accordingly." The startup has raised $57 million since its founding in 2011. Tado operates in more than 10 European countries. Startup RayVio just announced $26 million in funding from IPV Capital and Tsing Capital to market its UV LED disinfection technology globally. The company said in a release that its UV LED technology enables point-of-use water disinfection. Existing investors including DCM Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, Applied Ventures, Augment Ventures, Tolero Ventures and New Ground Ventures. VC-funded Crystal IS developed UV LEDs on aluminum-nitride substrates for germicidal water applications and was acquired by the Asahi Kasei Group, a manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices in 2012. While visible LED-based solid-state lighting has supplanted the incandescent, the ultraviolet spectrum is a more difficult set of wavelengths for semiconductors. Short-wavelength UV light below 280 nanometers (C-band) interferes with DNA repair in bacteria and renders water free of live bacteria. However, the output from solid-state UV-C light sources remains modest compared to the traditional sources, such as high-intensity discharge lamps. So at the moment, UV-LEDs are limited to light pens and appliances for consumer water sterilization and fall short of the wattage outputs needed for industrial and municipal water treatment applications.

News Article | January 21, 2015
Site: www.zdnet.com

The first direct subsea fiber optic cable to link New York with the Brazilian city of São Paulo has successfully been funded and will be ready by the end of 2016. At a total project cost of $500m, the Seabras-1 link will be developed by Seaborn Networks. According to one of the project's main backers, private investment fund Partners Group, the cable network has already sold "substantial capacity" - including Microsoft and Tata Communications, which contracted with Seaborn as first customers of the Brazil-US network. Alcatel-Lucent had started work on the construction of the Seabras-1 cable in September 2014. The firm, which is also responsible for project management, system design, installation and commissioning, will be rolling out an integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters and power feed equipment in addition to a submarine line terminal. A month after the Seabras-1 cable started being built, Google announced it would be backing another US-Brazil link, which will connect the Brazilian cities of Santos and Fortaleza with Boca Ratón in Florida and will also be ready by next year. Existing US-Brazil submarine cables already carry about 65 percent of voice and data traffic between Latin America and the rest of the world. Currently there are four other submarine cables linking the two countries.

SAO PAULO and BOSTON, March 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Seaborn Networks, Netell Telecom, and Citatel Dutos e Fibras Opticas announced that Seaborn has acquired backhaul and metro fiber network capacity in the State of Sao Paulo from Netell and Citatel for Seaborn's Brazil-US subsea cable. This contracted capacity provides a diverse, dark fiber backhaul solution from Seaborn's cable landing station in Santos as well as a dark fiber, mesh network solution to Seaborn's points of presence in metro Sao Paulo. Seaborn is the developer of Seabras-1, a new Brazil-US submarine cable that will provide the first direct route between Sao Paulo and New York. The system is being constructed by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks. Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, is providing full project equity and is a co-sponsor of the project. Natixis, the corporate, investment, insurance and financial services arm of Groupe BCPE (second largest banking group in France) is providing full project debt with backing from COFACE, the French export credit agency. The contracting party on behalf of Seaborn for the Netell and Citatel transactions is Seabras 1 Brasil Ltda., which is Seaborn's Brazilian operator of Seabras-1. Netell has also purchased a substantial amount of capacity on Seabras-1, which it will use to serve its local, regional and international carrier and enterprise customer base. This follows other recent customer announcements, including that Microsoft is the foundational customer on Seabras-1 and that Tata Communications has also confirmed it is an anchor customer on the system. Larry Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer, Seaborn Networks says, "With construction of Seabras-1 underway, we are extremely pleased to have contracted with Netell and Citatel. This important milestone is the culmination of the strong relationship among the three companies that has developed over the past few years. Equally as important, Netell's investment for significant capacity purchase on Seabras-1 validates the demand in Brazil for an independent, express submarine cable route between Sao Paulo and New York with seamless extensions to other geographies around the world." Wagner Rapchan, Chief Executive Officer, Netell says, "Brazil and the entire South American continent require increasingly more capacity and diversity in international connectivity. This is why we are proud to be supporting Seaborn with metro fiber networks in Sao Paulo and in turn purchasing capacity on the Seabras-1 cable system. When there is greater choice for connecting Brazil to the rest of world, there will be greater opportunity for local innovation in IT and communications services. This is a great step forward for the market." Irineu Berardi, a shareholder of Citatel Dutos e Fibras Opticas, says, "With our extensive network of fiber cables in both Sao Paulo and Santos, we are delighted that Seaborn has purchased long-term and high quality, diverse fiber paths between Santos and Sao Paulo from Citatel." Seabras-1 is scheduled to be ready for service at the end of 2016. About Seaborn Networks Seaborn Networks is a developer and operator of submarine fiber optic cable systems, including Seabras-1 which is the first express submarine cable system between the US and Brazil. Seabras-1 is a 60 Tbps system that will connect New York and Sao Paulo, with a branch that lands in Fortaleza, Brazil. Activation will be in 2016. Seaborn was founded by successful submarine cable and wholesale carrier executives with experience in designing, building and operating many of the world's largest submarine and terrestrial networks. For additional information, see www.seabornnetworks.com About Netell Telecom Netell Telecom is a neutral and independent fiber-optic network provider in Brazil. Launched in 2005, Netell Telecom has evolved into one of Brazil's leading backbone network providers for Sao Paulo's region. It serves local, regional and international large enterprises, carriers and data centers looking for geographically diverse, secure and reliable connectivity. For additional information, see www.netell.com.br About Citatel Dutos e Fibras Opticas Citatel Dutos e Fibras Opticas has provided long-haul fiber network services in Brazil for more than 20 years. Its wholly owned fiber infrastructure crosses the state of Sao Paulo and is trusted by local, regional and international service providers as well as enterprises.

-- Stern brings extensive experience in merchant solutions and digital payment technologies, most recently as CEO of Edenred SA EYSINS, Switzerland, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Blue, the leading provider of traveller commerce solutions including tax-free shopping and dynamic currency conversion, today announced the appointment of Jacques Stern as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 August 2015. Mr. Stern joins with a wealth of experience in merchant solutions and digital payment technologies from his post as Chairman and CEO of Edenred (Euronext: EDEN.PA), and previously in the travel and tourism sector from his time as a senior executive at Accor, the leading global hotelier. Mr. Stern also has served as a non-executive director on the Board of Global Blue since April 2014, providing him with insight into the company and ensuring a smooth transition to an executive role. Mr. Stern follows Mr. David Baxby who, after a successful CEO tenure, will transition to a new position as Strategic Advisor to the Board and remain a meaningful personal investor in Global Blue. In his operating role, Mr. Baxby advanced the company in a number of ways, including by recruiting and retaining top talent and launching new growth initiatives. The board commented: "We would like to thank David for his contributions, which have resulted in reacceleration of Global Blue's growth. His focus on enhancing the traveller experience, developing data analytics solutions, and expanding the company's geographic footprint notably in Asia, will benefit Global Blue for years to come." Mr. Stern brings to Global Blue over two decades of highly relevant experience, most recently as Edenred's Chairman and CEO. Edenred is the world leader in prepaid corporate services, which include the Ticket Restaurant® voucher system and numerous other technology-enabled programs in employee benefits, expense management, and loyalty rewards. After leading Edenred's spin-off from the global hotelier Accor and IPO in 2010, Mr. Stern drove impressive growth across both established markets like Western Europe and emerging markets like Latin America. Edenred is now a global leader in 42 countries with more than 6,000 employees, nearly 660,000 corporate and public sector clients, 1.4 million affiliated merchants, and 41 million beneficiaries. Edenred's market value has grown meaningfully to more than €5 billion under Mr. Stern's leadership, and he is credited with driving digitisation and developing innovative solutions for Edenred's ecosystem. Prior to Edenred, Mr. Stern spent nearly two decades at Accor – the leading global hotelier – in various roles, including as Chief Financial Officer, and previously as Executive Vice President in charge of Strategy & Hotel Development and Purchasing & Information Systems. "We are thrilled to welcome such a dynamic and accomplished leader to Global Blue," said the company's Board. "Jacques has a deep understanding of both merchant and consumer needs, industry expertise in both payments and tourism, and operating experience in established and emerging markets. He is a world-class executive with just the right background and track record to accelerate Global Blue's strategy and lead its talented employees." Mr. Stern added: "Having followed Global Blue closely for over a year from a Board perspective, I recognised a unique opportunity to join a business that has both existing market leadership and tremendous growth potential. Introducing further digitisation and value-added services into the tax-free shopping process will benefit all of Global Blue's constituencies – merchants, travellers, governments, employees, and shareholders alike. I look forward to contributing to the company's already-strong management team and corporate culture." Global Blue is owned by Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing; Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager; and Global Blue's management team. Global Blue, the leading provider of traveller commerce solutions, makes retail transactions between merchants and their foreign customers easier and more rewarding for everyone. Having invented the concept of Tax Free Shopping more than thirty years ago, Global Blue now offers a range of services that help consumers shop and spend wisely when they are in foreign countries, and help merchants and banks better serve this international traveller market. Global Blue works with over 270,000 affiliated retailers, shopping brands, and hotels in 43 countries and processes over 36 million transactions per year. The company's headquarters are in Eysins, Switzerland. For more information, please visit http://corporate.globalblue.com/about-us/.

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