Solar nanotech firm raises $32 million

The Tech Talk Blog: Solar keeps gaining steam in Silicon Valley. NanoGram says today it has raised $32 million to invest in its solar technology and advanced materials. I’ll leave it to everyone else to judge whether we’ve got a solar bubble going….

NanoGram Corporation, a leading developer and licensor of core process technology for the manufacture of unique nanostructured materials for optical, electronic and energy applications, today announced that it has closed on a third equity round of $32M to date to expand its solar technology and nanomaterials solutions businesses.

In addition to follow-on investments from existing investors ATA Ventures, Bay Partners, Harris & Harris, Institutional Venture Partners, Nth Power, Rockport Capital Partners, SBV Venture Partners, and Technology Partners, NanoGram adds Global Cleantech Capital, Masdar Clean Tech Fund, Mitsui Ventures, Nagase & Co., Nanostart AG, TEL Venture Capital, and Yasuda Enterprise Development as new investors.

The new funding will be used to accelerate development of NanoGram’s proprietary silicon solar technology and its advanced nanomaterials solutions for flat panel displays, solid state lighting, lithium-ion batteries, and printed electronics.

“NanoGram is an agile company creating new market opportunities by understanding the needs of our customers and partners,” said NanoGram President and CEO Dr. Kieran Drain. “Our expansion into the solar market and strong customer interest in our core nanomaterials solutions proves our technology has the potential to generate game-changing products. These new funds allow us to increase momentum.”

Ira Ehrenpreis, General Partner at Technology Partners, concurs stating, “NanoGram has already seen the successful spinouts of NeoPhotonics and NanoGram Devices, and is now pursuing additional exciting Cleantech opportunities in new large markets with their energy and advanced materials technologies. Managed by seasoned executives, the company continues to execute towards their vision of being a leading provider of nano-enabled materials solutions to their customers and partners.”

“The application of NanoGram’s nanomaterials solution to the solar sector opens up an extremely exciting frontier in the development of cost-effective solar technology, “ remarked Alex O’Cinneide, Partner at the Masdar Clean Tech Fund, a part of the Government of Abu Dhabi’s multi-billion dollar initiative in advanced energy technologies and sustainable development. “We believe that this application combined with the deep experience of their management team and their clearly articulated market strategy will achieve both near term successes and deliver on long term potential. Given the enormous promise of their technology, we are more than pleased to have a technology leader such as NanoGram in our portfolio.”

Dr. Paul Kloppenborg, CEO of Global Cleantech Capital and an experienced solar investor who was one of the early active investors in Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) and Q-Cells, states, “We believe that by helping NanoGram to commercialize their proprietary solar knowledge we accelerate our own solar investment program to deliver the high efficiencies of crystalline silicon with the cost savings of thin film. I believe NanoGram’s solar technology has the potential to contribute to the cost breakthrough in next generation photovoltaic technologies.”

The NanoGram Solutions business unit, which serves customers and partners in the optical, electronic, and energy arenas, will use the new funds to hasten the commercial realization of advanced nanomaterials solutions currently in development. These solutions, when coupled with NanoGram’s complete licensing package and production-scale Nanoparticle Manufacturing (NPM™) equipment, offer customers and partners the ability to secure competitive advantages for their applications through higher levels of performance and innovative cost-saving processing routes…

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