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CalStar Products, Inc. Raises Additional Capital

Feb 26, 2010 1:00 PM est    Location: Newark, CA United States

NEWARK, Calif., Feb. 25  --CalStar Products, Inc. today announced that it has closed a $15 Million equity investment to fund the growth and expansion of its green building materials business.  Nth Power, a venture capital fund focused on energy and cleantech investing, led the equity round that includes new investors The Westly Group and Clearpoint Capital as well as continuing investors Foundation Capital and EnerTech Capital.


CalStar's revolutionary facing brick and hardscape pavers require 85% less energy and generate 85% less carbon dioxide in their manufacturing as a result of CalStar's proprietary recipe and process. The fly ash-based products are competitively priced and compete effectively with traditional clay and concrete products.  In January, the company opened its first manufacturing plant in Caledonia, Wisconsin.  CalStar has assembled a network of 29 brick dealers across the U.S. to serve the significant demand for these products from architects and builders for their LEED building and sustainable hardscape projects.  


"This oversubscribed round confirms again that investors see the same attractive opportunity in green building materials that we do. In its insightful white paper, Innovating for Better Buildings, Nth Power articulates the factors that are coming together to make this moment a 'Perfect Storm' for transforming the construction and building sector. CalStar's unique approach to the brick and hardscape business is perfectly aligned with that vision," said Tom Pounds, CalStar's CEO.  


"We're entering an era when carbon- and energy-efficient products that are competitively priced and deliver excellent performance in place are being specified by all of the leading architectural firms. CalStar is well-positioned to take market share immediately, but it also has the potential to permanently replace supply from many of the nation's shuttered brick plants," said Bryant Tong, Managing Director of Nth Power.  


"CalStar has all the elements that we look for in a growth company. They have an experienced leadership team, a long-term competitive advantage, great channel partners, and a solid pipeline of projects for 2010 and 2011," commented Gary Dillabough, General Partner of The Westly Group.

"With a successful product launch and factory opening, CalStar has accomplished a great deal over the past year.  This investment provides the fuel to grow the business to the next level," said Bill Kingsley, Managing Director of Enertech Capital, who led the previous round of financing.  

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CalStar Products, Inc. develops and manufactures sustainable building products that allow green architects and specifiers to dramatically reduce the energy and CO2 footprint of their projects and incorporate significant recycled materials, without compromising building performance or budgets. CalStar's fly ash bricks and pavers have been recognized as an Editor's Pick in Architectural Record as an outstanding new building product of 2010.


Headquartered in Silicon Valley with a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, CalStar's mission encompasses national priorities of supporting energy independence, mitigating climate change, preserving natural resources, recycling industrial by-products, and creating green jobs.



Nth Power is a venture capital firm based in San Francisco focused on promising startup companies in energy technology, materials and related businesses.  With $420 million under management in four funds, and an investment record that begins in 1997, Nth Power is widely known as the driving force behind many of the most successful energy and materials technology companies.  



The Westly Group, based in Menlo Park, CA, invests in growth-stage clean tech companies in an effort to accelerate the clean technology revolution.  With extensive operating experience in the private and public sectors, the firm leverages its partners' backgrounds to accelerate portfolio company growth.  The Westly Group invested in CalStar after a review by its Clean Building Materials Practice Group.  



Clearpoint Ventures invests in companies working to build a more sustainable economy while generating strong financial returns.  The New York City based firm targets startups with disruptive technologies and business models and entrepreneurs with extensive management and industry experience.  Primary areas of focus include opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building.



Foundation Capital is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm founded and managed by former entrepreneurs.  Focused on earlier-stage investments, Foundation concentrates in the areas of Information Technology and Cleantech—an area where the firm has developed significant expertise in recent years.  As the original investor behind CalStar, the firm is one of the most influential investors in the emerging green building materials sector.  



EnerTech Capital is a pioneer in clean energy investing, with three funds totaling $380 million under management.  Based in Philadelphia and Toronto, the firm is focused on mid and growth-stage ventures that deploy innovative technologies and business models to address the global opportunity for cleaner, cheaper, more efficient energy. 


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