Sweden solar start-up Sol Voltaics has secured $17 million in new equity investment and grant funding. Most part for Series C funding comes from Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), a first time investor in Sol Voltaics. RVC is the investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The other funding came from long-term investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden and Nano Future Invest that collectively contributed to the $12.5 million in equity.

Additionally, Sol Voltaics got over $4.5 million from the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Sol Voltaics plans to use the funding to commercialize its nanowire-based ‘solar efficiency boosting film.’ Erik Smith, CEO SolVoltaics, said, “Following our recent nanowire alignment breakthrough and several other critical technological advances, this latest investment from new and long-term partners reflects the confidence they have in Sol Voltaics’ ability to become the premier commercial solution for stacked tandem-junction solar modules.”

Sol Voltaics is a spinout of QuNano AB, a company created to commercialize research from Lund University. The company had recently announced successfully aligning gallium-arsenide nanowires in a thin film. When these are integrated in a tandem-junction architecture on mainstream crystalline silicon panels, a PV module efficiency of more than 27% can be achieved, claims the company.

According to clean technology consultancy, Apricum which was the financial advisor to Sol Voltaics in the investment round, the capital raise represents the largest solar-technology funding round in Europe over the past 18 months.

RVC’s investment comes after the Saudi government introduced its Saudi Vision
2030, a socio-economic effort targeting 9.5 GW of solar deployment by 2023 under King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

Photo Caption: Sol Voltaics claims that its nanowire-based solar efficiency boosting film can improve energy generation from a module by 50% more compared to other solar panels in the market