PITCH 2012 Speaker Danielle Fong, Chief Scientist And Co-Founder Of LightSail Energy, Raises $37.3 Million Series D Venture Funding

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PITCH 2012 speaker Danielle Fong announced raising Series D from investors including Peter Thiel, Vinod Khosla and Bill Gates.

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

Today, news broke that 25-year old chief scientist and LightSail co-founder Danielle Fong closed Series D funding with investors including Peter Thiel, Vinod Khosla and Bill Gates. The round of venture funding took LightSail Energy a year to close, after the very public failure of solar energy giant Solyndra spooked investors in the energy sector.

An “ecopragmatist”, Danielle Fong dropped out of the plasma physics Ph.D program at Princeton. She explains, “I saw the technical work stretching out, endlessly before me, with no clear fix for our energy problem within sight. I got spooked. There might be ways to solve these problems, but they certainly weren’t known. I didn’t think the right things were getting funded.” Check out her blog for writings on physics, energy, solving big problems and starting a startup.

Congratulations to energy entrepreneur and PITCH 2012 speaker Danielle Fong for closing the Series D round of venture financing for her Berkeley-based startup (working out of the former Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory) to pursue a solution to the energy storage problem with compressed air.

Women 2.0 readers: What energy or cleantech startups are you excited about aside from Danielle Fong’s LightSail Energy? Let us know in the comments.

Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.