General Electric Co unveiled two investments in startup clean technology businesses on Wednesday as part of its strategy of focusing on ways for business to generate and use energy more efficiently.

The largest U.S. conglomerate said it had taken a stake in Israeli startup SolarEdge, which allows photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, to operate up to 25 percent more efficiently.

GE's Energy Financial Services arm is one of a handful of investors in a $23 million round of funding in the company.

The world's largest maker of electricity-producing turbines also said it had taken a stake in Tendril, a Boulder, Colorado-based company that produces equipment allowing utilities to communicate with residential and commercial electricity users. That technology, known as the smart grid, can help homeowners, for instance, run energy-hungry equipment like dishwashers at off-peak hours, reducing stress on electric grids.

GE, which disclosed the news at its research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York, did not specify the amount of its investment in the two companies.

GE's prior investments in alternative energy include a stake in A123 Systems Inc. That maker of next-generation lithium-ion batteries has seen its shares soar since its September initial public offering, which investors said could whet the market's appetite for more cleantech-related IPOs.

(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Dave Zimmerman)