This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Branson Bets on Green Lamps

Sir Richard Branson, the British adventurer and entrepreneur extraordinaire, is making his second major green-technology investment in less than a month.

Branson's venture capital firm Virgin Fuels, along with Gemini Israel Funds, Israel Cleantech Ventures and Israeli investor Altshuler Shaham, is injecting $9 million into Metrolight Inc., a Brentwood, Tenn., maker of smart electronic ballasts for high-intensity discharge lamps.

High-intensity discharge, or HID, lamps are nothing new. In fact, 22% of all lights in the world are estimated to be HID lights. They are mostly used to brighten large spaces, and can be found everywhere from street-lighting to factories to big-box retailers. What Metrolight does is take this existing technology and make it longer-lasting and energy efficient.

"Metrolight's products help customers reduce up to 65% of lighting energy costs, double lamp life, drastically reduce maintenance costs and take full control of their lighting systems," according to a company press release.

Virgin Fuels' investment in Metrolight is another step in Branson's effort to rebrand himself as the patron saint of green investing. In 2006, he invested $400 million in Virgin Fuels. He also pledged to donate all profits from his various transportation businesses to the effort to fight global warming -- an amount that could exceed $3 billion in 10 years.

According to Shai Weiss, managing partner of Virgin Fuels, Metrolight is a good choice for its growing portfolio of diversified green technology investments.

"Our sweet spot is with investments that are ready for growth and expansion and with products that have a short time to market, rather than early-stage technologies," Weiss says. "Metrolight fits this model perfectly."

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs