Solexel Raises $36.5M 0

Last week, we covered the unveiling of Solexel, a thin-silicon technology startiup hoping to bring 20-percent-efficient photovoltaic modules at a cost of $0.42 per watt to the market in 2014. At the time, the 70-employee firm was in the midst of closing a Series C round.

That round has now been closed, with $36.5 million raised, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On top of the $113 million raised in its first two venture capital rounds, that brings the startup’s total to just shy of $150 million. Here’s our report from last week’s Intersolar conference in San Francisco, detailing just what Solexel intends to do with the money:

It’s the same solar startup story of high efficiency, low costs and low capex that has been pitched dozens of times to every cleantech VC or journalist since 2005. No firm has yet to execute on its promises at commercial scale. Perhaps Solexel is the company that can bring those claims to reality. If the firm can’t, it won’t be for lack of innovation or funding.

Investors include Kleiner Perkins, Technology Partners, Northgate Capital, DAG Ventures, GSV Capital, Spirox, Gentry Venture Partners, Oak Hill Investment Management, Ecofin, and The Westly Group. In its most recent round, the firm added SunPower as an investor, giving it at least one backer that actually knows a bit about solar technology. And one that shares some common technological traits with Solexel: high-efficiency cell performance and a back-contact cell architecture. Surviving due-diligence with SunPower speaks well of the startup’s technology and path.

Solexel has also scored $17 million in DOE and NSF grants.

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