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SolFocus Inc of Mountain View, CA, USA, a Palo Alto Research Center spin-off that manufactures III-V-based concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, has raised a further $11.6m, led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and joined by Moser Baer India Ltd, Metasystem Group, NGEN Partners and Yellowstone Capital Inc.
The latest $11.6m in funding supplements $52m raised in September - which included $24.6m in Series B financing for SolFocus Inc plus $27.4m in Series A financing for SolFocus Europe in Madrid, Spain (spun off in September) - totaling $63.6m in second-round funding. Together with $32m from SolFocus Inc’s Series A round in June 2006 (led by NEA), total venture capital is now over $95m.
As well as supporting the US efforts in product development in trackers and solar thermal, the Series A funding for SolFocus Europe will allow the firm to expand sales and projects for the growing European marketplace, says VP of corporate marketing Nancy Hartsoch.
The Series B funding for SolFocus Inc will ramp up commercial-scale production, Hartsoch adds. The firm has concentrated on R&D and prototyping, but will move to high-volume manufacturing between now and the third and fourth quarters of 2008, she adds.
SolFocus Europe also announced its five-person board of directors, which, include SolFocus Inc’s founder, CEO and chairman Gary Conley, NEA general partner Scott Sandell, Ravi Khanna (CEO of Moser Baer Photovoltaic Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Ltd), Paulina Beato (an economist on the board of REPSOL YPF) and Germano Fanelli (chairman of Arrow EMEASA, the Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America branch of electronic component distributor Arrow Electronics Inc). “Each board member brings expertise from an area critical to directing the company in establishing itself as the premier supplier of clean, renewable solar energy to the European community,” says Conley.
In the next 12-18 months, SolFocus will also look at moving into new markets in Latin America and the Middle East North Africa region, Hartsoch says.
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