Despite the modest results or non-performance of recent solar IPOs, the doldrums of the solar market, and the shakeout in the greentech VC world -- there's been a small recent run of solar venture capital financing worth recapping here.
First, SunRun, the San Francisco-based solar leasing company, just raised $60 million in a round led by Madrone Capital Partners, along with existing investors Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital and Foundation Capital. That brings SunRun's total VC funding to $145 million with enough capital to support the purchase of over $1 billion in solar systems. SunRun focuses on financing residential solar rooftops, one of the bright spots in the solar market, though it is a sector threatened by the recent solar tariff to be imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
SolFocus, a concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems vendor, won $10.75 million in venture capital from NEA, Apex, NGEN, et al. according to an SEC filing. SolFocus has a project in development in Mexico that could eclipse the 30-megawatt Alamosa, Colorado CPV farm.
SoloPower raised $7.1 million from existing investors which include Hudson Clean Energy Partners, Crosslink Capital, Convexa, and Firsthand. The solar startup is also the recipient of a $197 million DOE loan guarantee issued in August of last year for its new Oregon factory. SoloPower builds CIGS-based, flexible thin-film solar panels.
Gen110, a San Francisco startup with 70 employees, 11 offices in California and about 2,000 customers for its solar-backed energy bill reduction service, announced an undisclosed investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to expand its “energy concierge” concept to broader markets.
Solantro Semiconductor completed its $10 million round A with funding led by family fund Black Coral Capital, as well as Presidio Ventures (a Sumitomo Corporation company), Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). Solantro designs and manufactures chipsets for use with distributed solar PV power conversion equipment, which would include microinverters from firms such as Enphase or SolarBridge and DC optimizers from firms such as SolarEdge or Tigo.