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© saniphoto dreamstime.com Business | May 16, 2016

Sol Voltaics wins $17 million in financing

Swedish advanced materials start-up Sol Voltaics has raised a record round of USD 17 million in new equity investment and grant funding to accelerate the roll out of its nanowire solar film tandem-layer technology.
The Series C funding round was led by new investor Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Long-term investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden, and Nano Future Invest demonstrated their continuing commitment to Sol Voltaics by contributing to the USD 12.5 million in equity. In addition, the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program backed the company with over USD 4.5 million in additional grants.

The new investment will allow Sol Voltaics’ to bring its nanowire-based solar efficiency boosting film to market. The company recently announced a technological breakthrough with the successful alignment of gallium-arsenide nanowires in a thin film. When integrated in a tandem-junction architecture on mainstream crystalline silicon panels, Sol Voltaics’ nanomaterials innovations will enable photovoltaic (PV) module efficiencies of greater than 27% — a 50% enhancement in energy generation compared to today’s solar panels.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in a number of competing tandem-layer technologies designed to significantly boost the efficiency of existing solar modules,” said Erik Smith, CEO of Sol Voltaics. “Following our recent nanowire alignment breakthrough and several other critical technological advances, this latest investment from new and long-term partners reflects the confidence they have in Sol Voltaics’ ability to become the premier commercial solution for stacked tandem-junction solar modules.”

“We are excited to be part of a company that can provide such a dynamic change to the solar industry”, said Dr. Khalid Al Saleh, CEO of RVC. “With the company’s recent technology breakthroughs and nanowire efficiency world record we believe Sol Voltaics can lead the tandem solar cell revolution.”
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