FREMONT, CA, SEPT. 19, 2006 – Solaria®, an innovative solar technology company, today announced the completion of $22 million in Series B financing. The funding round includes investments from Sigma Partners and NGEN Partners, two leading venture capital firms; Q-Cells AG, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar cells; and Moser Baer, India’s largest and the world’s second-largest manufacturer of removable optical storage media.
Solaria’s technology platform enables the solar industry to produce two to three times the number of PV modules from the same amount of silicon material used in today’s conventional modules.
“Q-Cells is very pleased to be making an investment in Solaria,” said Q-Cells CEO Anton Milner. “We believe our investment will help ensure that Solaria’s technology can drive down the cost of solar PV and further accelerate the growth and expansion of the solar industry.”
“Solaria’s low-concentration solar technology promises to dramatically reduce the photovoltaic (PV) industry’s cost of silicon-based solar modules,” said Sigma Partners Managing Director Wade Woodson. “We evaluated many renewable energy investment opportunities and Solaria’s approach really impressed us because it emphasizes reliability, manufacturability and compatibility.”
“This infusion of capital will help us to achieve Solaria’s goal of enabling low-cost, high efficiency PV modules and systems for our customers,” said Solaria CEO Suvi Sharma. “We are currently working with select commercialization partners and are on schedule to enter high-volume production in 2007.”
Solaria’s new form of low-concentration solar PV technology (2-3X concentration) is immensely scaleable. By modifying equipment used in the mass fabrication of computer chips and other semiconductor-based products, Solaria’s technology can enable the acceleration of solar PV module production to meet the rapidly increasing worldwide demand for solar power.
Headquartered in Northern California, Solaria has offices and a pilot production facility in Silicon Valley, is working with manufacturing partners to ramp up production globally, and is adding new engineering and operations professionals to its team.
Solaria, based in Fremont, CA, has developed a breakthrough technology to deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar PV solutions. The company’s unique low-concentration (2-3X) technology platform enables solar companies to produce two to three times the number of modules from the same amount of silicon material used in today’s conventional cells and modules. The company’s technology fits seamlessly into the existing PV supply chain; has the same form, fit, and function of traditional solar PV offerings; and can be deployed in a range of commercial, industrial and residential rooftop and ground-mounted applications. For more information, visit www.solaria.com.
About Sigma Partners
Founded in 1984, Sigma Partners is a leading early-stage venture capital firm. The Sigma team uses their deep operational experience to provide entrepreneurs with practical strategic counsel through every phase of company growth. With over $1.5 billion under management and bicoastal offices, Sigma invests in innovative technology startups across the United States. Some of the market leading companies in which Sigma has invested include Atria, Cascade, Clarify, Internet Security Systems, KLA-Tencor, Octel, VeriFone, Vermeer, and Vignette.
About NGEN Partners
NGEN Partners, LLC is an established leader in venture investing in Cleantech and other technologies enabled by Materials Science. NGEN invests in emerging businesses that have differentiated and protected technology, validated large markets, customer visibility, and experienced management teams. By investing in post-prototype, early and mid-stage rounds, NGEN adds significant value to its portfolio companies.
Founded in 1999, Q-Cells AG, based in Thalheim, Germany, is the leading independent manufacturer of PV cells worldwide and one of the most rapidly growing companies in the PV industry. With its current workforce of nearly 900 employees, Q-Cells expects to produce multi- and mono-crystalline silicon cells with a total output of 255 MWp in 2006. Q-Cells supplies independent module manufacturers in all strategic markets throughout the world. The company targets primarily the high performance market of PV module and system suppliers, where its products add significant value to its customers. Q-Cells is currently in the process of increasing its production capacity to 336 MWp until the end of 2006.
About Moser Baer
Moser Baer, headquartered in New Delhi, India, was established in 1983. The company has successfully developed cutting edge technologies for recordable optical media, constantly innovating and introducing new products and processes. An emphasis on high quality products and services has enabled Moser Baer to emerge as one of India’s leading technology companies, with more than an 17% share of the global recordable optical media market. The company is amongst the largest producers of CDs and DVDs in the world. It is the first company to launch first generation recordable high definition DVD products globally. Moser Baer currently has over 5,000 full-time employees and multiple manufacturing facilities in the suburbs of New Delhi. The company services its customers, which include all the leading global OEM brands in optical media, through six marketing offices and subsidiaries/affiliates in India, the US, Europe and Japan. Moser Baer is currently in the process of establishing a state of the art unique 80 MW silicon PV manufacturing facility near New Delhi.