Solexant

Company Background

Solexant Corporation is a start-up based in San Jose, California. They are developing ultrathin-film solar cells that incorporate high-performance, inorganic nanocrystals on flexible substrates. The technology platform—originally developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab—can utilize currently available and emerging high-efficiency materials to dramatically reduce manufacturing costs through solution-processing and roll-to-roll manufacturing. In 2009, Solexant was named by London's Guardian as a Global Cleantech 100 company and was a winner of R&D Magazine's 47th Annual R&D 100 Awards (1).

Solexant's third generation thin-film PV technologies increase solar cell efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs, therefore enabling the commercialization of solar modules that generate electricity at competitive rates without depending on government subsidies. Using printable nanomaterial technologies exclusively licensed from leading universities, Solexant's flexible solar cells harvest energy from the entire solar spectrum (2).

Strategic Partnerships

In 2007, Solexant raised $4.3 million in a first round of capital to develop a prototype of its technology.  X/Seed Capital led the round, which included Firelake Capital, Medley Partners and Trident Capital (3).

In 2010, Solexant received $41.5M of a Series C financing round following the successful completion of a 2MW pilot line operating at the company's headquarters. The round, led by Olympus Capital Partners, includes two other new investors, DBL Investors and Birchmere Ventures, with strong support from existing investors Trident Capital, Firelake Capital, Medley Partners and X/Seed. Rami Elkhatib, general partner of Olympus Capital Partners and Cynthia Ringo, managing partner of DBL Investors, will join Solexant's board of directors (1).

Innovation and Technology

Solexant utilizes a capital efficient "roll-to-roll" manufacturing technique to produce the industry's first nanocrystal ultrathin-film solar cell. This method allows for more efficient use of equipment space, as well as higher throughput and lower labor costs than competing thin film companies. The company's production process brings down the solar module manufacturing cost and total balance of systems (BOS) cost to below those of other thin film competitors (1).

Products

Solexant is developing high efficiency low-cost nanostructured solar cells. Solexant solar cells achieve high efficiency by incorporating nanomaterials that harvest light from the entire solar spectrum and achieve low cost by adopting roll-to-roll manufacturing process (3).

Sources

  1. Nanowerk (2010, June 8). “Solexant's Nanocrystal Solar Technology Lands $41.5M Series C Round.” Retrieved on October 7, 2013 from www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=16606.php
  2. Solexant (2013). “Home.” Retrieved on October 7, 2013 from www.solexant.com/index.php
  3. Venture Beat (2007, August 30).  “Solexant raises $4.3M for new thin film solar cell.” Retrieved on October 7, 2013 from http://venturebeat.com/2007/08/30/solexant-raises-43m-for-new-thin-film-solar-cell-2/#ZH7UXOmikRBJbxqh.99