Swedish solar tech start-up Sol Voltaics has secured USD 12.5 million (EUR 11m) in equity and USD 4.5 million in grants to accelerate commercialisation of its nanowire solar film tandem-layer technology.
Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, led the Series C round. RVC now joins the list of Sol Voltaics supporters. Long-term investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden, and Nano Future Invest also participated in the round.
Sol Voltaics last month said it is now able to control nanowire orientation and alignment in a thin film, an achievement the Swedish firm says would help bring solar module efficiencies to 27% or more.
According to Apricum, the start-up’s financial advisor in the capital raise transaction, this is the largest solar-technology funding round in Europe for the past 18 months. “The great investor interest underlines how compelling the [Sol Voltaics] technology is,” commented Moritz Borgmann, partner at Apricum.
The efforts to bring to market the nanowire-based solar efficiency boosting film will also be supported by the grants from the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Sol Voltaics is developing a high-volume production platform for the Aerotaxy nanowire thin-film process, originating out of Lund University in Sweden. A year ago the company announced it had reached a 1-sun conversion efficiency of 15.3% in a gallium-arsenide (GaAs) nanowire array (NWA) solar cell. The nanowire orientation and alignment control, alongside other technology advances in progress, will allow Sol Voltaics to further boost that efficiency.
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