As silicon solar costs keep dropping, is there room for another American-made thin-film manufacturer?
It’s extremely difficult to raise venture capital funding for solar hardware companies, but somehow Siva Power just raised $25 million for its thin-film solar manufacturing think-tank/retirement project for thin-film technologists.
Siva closed this $25 million round to focus on building a pilot line and developing a solar module business — with funding led by Jim Simons and Mark Heising, along with Jonathan Sheets.
Mark Heising is the managing director of Medley Partners. Jim Simons, a renowned mathematician, started the Medallion Fund, a wildly successful hedge fund. He’s appeared on the Forbes top 100 richest people list and, until this investment at least, was called “the world’s smartest billionaire.”
Siva Power possesses an all-star team of thin-film solar technologists. This $25 million adds to the $15 million in financing from DBL Partners, Acero, Symmetry Group and Red House Capital that Siva closed in 2015 and the more than $60 million that Siva had raised in previous incarnations from Olympus Capital Partners, DBL Investors, Birchmere Ventures, Trident Capital and Firelake Capital.
Siva began in 2006 as Solexant, a cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar on roll-to-roll startup, and was on the same build-a-factory-before-the-process-is-optimized death spin as the rest. But the board hired semiconductor equipment/process veteran and solar investor Brad Mattson in June 2011. Mattson was the CEO and founder of semiconductor equipment successes Mattson Technology and Novellus Systems.
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