Solyndra Emerges from Stealth Mode, Announces $1.2 Billion in Contracts

Solyndra

Solyndra, a company based in Fremont, California that designs and manufactures photovoltaic (PV) systems for the commercial rooftop market, emerged from stealth mode earlier this week and announced that it has $1.2 billion of multi-year contracts with customers in Europe and the United States.  Solyndra claims that its CIGS-based thin film PV systems provide significantly lower installation costs and significantly higher annual solar electricity output per rooftop as compared to conventional solar panel installations for large, low-slope commercial rooftops.

"By eliminating the need for roof-penetrating mounts and wind ballasts, PV arrays with Solyndra panels can be installed with one-third the labor, in one-third of the time, at one-half the cost," said Manfred Bachler, Chief Technical Officer at Phoenix Solar AG, one of the largest solar power integrators in Europe and a Solyndra customer. "For commercial rooftops, PV module installation time can now be measured in days, not weeks. For flat commercial rooftops this is game-changing technology."

Solyndra founder and CEO Chris Gronet said "Solyndra’s system uniquely optimizes PV performance on commercial rooftops by converting more of the sunlight that strikes the total rooftop area into electricity while also providing for a lower installation cost and lower cost of electricity."

The following video provides an illustration of the manufacturing and installation of Solyndra’s product.

According to various media reports, Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet has stated that the company has raised $600 million in equity financing. Solyndra’s investors include Argonaut Private Equity, Artis Capital Management, CMEA Ventures, Madrone Capital Partners, Masdar Clean Tech Fund, Redpoint Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, and the Virgin Green Fund

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A123 Systems Files Registration Statement with SEC for IPO; Discloses $102.1 Million in Additional Equity Financing

A123 Systems

A123 Systems, a company that develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services, and portable power markets, announced in August that it filed a S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of up to $175 million of its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol "AONE".  You can view this filing by clicking on the image below:

A123 Systems S-1

A123 Systems was founded in 2001 to commercialize new battery technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company began selling its first products commercially in the first quarter of 2006.  The company’s revenue was $34.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2006, $41.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, and $10.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008.

A key source of A123 Systems’ revenue to date has been Black & Decker, to which A123 Systems has supplied batteries for their portable power tools.  The company also operates in other market segments, including transportation and electric grid services. A123 Systems has acquired a number of companies over the years including Hymotion.  The following video provides an illustration of some of A123 Systems’ technology in the transportation sector:

Investors in A123 Systems include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Alliance Capital, Motorola, Qualcomm, North Bridge Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, CMEA Ventures, FA Technology Ventures, OnPoint, Carruth Management, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Desh Deshpande (A123 Systems’ board chair). 

In A123 Systems’ S-1 filing, the company stated that it raised $102,085,005 in equity financing (6,152,553 shares of Series E convertible preferred stock at $16.59 per share) after March 31, 2008.  The company also stated that it had received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $266.1 million since its founding from the financing activities of private placements of preferred stock, common stock, convertible promissory notes, demand notes, term loans, revolving credit facilities and other credit facilities.

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Luminus Devices Closes $72 Million Round of VC Funding

Luminus Devices logo

Luminus Devices, Inc. a Billerica, Massachusetts-based company that develops and manufactures high-performance solid state light sources, announced on Monday that it has closed a $72 million round of venture capital financing.  This round was led by Braemar Energy Ventures.  Other participants in this round included CMEA Ventures, Paladin Capital Group, and Luminus’ previous investors, which include Battery Venture Partners, Argonaut Private Equity, Stata Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ-New England and Eastward Capital.

Luminus Devices’ patented PhlatLight technology (Photonic Lattice Light), based on research from MIT, is a new type of solid state light source that combines the benefits of both LED and laser technology.  The company states that among the benefits of its PhlatLight technology are environmental benefits such as reduced power consumption needs as compared to other lighting sources.  This is illustrated in the following chart of power needs for lighting projection televisions (PTV): 

Luminus Devices chart

In its funding announcement, the company stated that this funding highlights the strategic shift it is undertaking to offer its technology to a broader set of markets than the TV and display industry it has previously served. According to Udi Meirav, CEO of Luminus Devices:

It’s a big vote of confidence in our company and in the future of solid-state lighting, and we are thrilled to have such strong backing from Braemar, CMEA, Paladin, and our other new investors, as well as the continued support of our earlier investors.  This investment enables a new phase in the growth of our company, and it will provide us with the resources to expand our product line, serve new markets and deliver the full value of our technology to our growing roster of customers.

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