Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Adine Deford, Elizabeth White, the Editor, Michael Krems, Xenia von Wedel

News Feed Item

VC Funding in Solar Sector Down 50 Percent in 2012, According to New Mercom Capital Group Report

Report Reveals Investment Trends -- Solar Lease Companies Shine; Funding for Thin-Film Companies Drops

AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 01/14/13 -- Global venture capital (VC) investments plunged nearly 50 percent to $992M (million) in 103 deals in 2012 compared to $1.9B (billion) raised in 108 deals the previous year. The 2012 total represents the lowest amount since 2007.

VC funding in Q4 2012 came in at $220M in 27 deals compared to just $72M in 14 deals in Q3. Twenty-five investors participated in the 27 deals in Q4, and no investor was involved in multiple deals. The leading VC deal this quarter was concentrating solar thermal company BrightSource Energy with $83.6M.

Figure: Solar VC Funding 2007-2012 (http://mercomcapital.com/assets/images/2012Q4PRImage1.jpg)

Mercom Capital Group published an 89 page report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector during 2012. The report provides detailed financial transactions, including active investors, examines VC investments broken down by type and technology, and also provides comprehensive information on solar M&A transactions, debt transactions, transaction details on announced large-scale project funding, and project M&A. This report also includes information on solar bankruptcies, downsizings and restructurings.

"The slowdown in VC funding can be attributed to the grim prospects for thin-film, concentrating solar and concentrating PV technologies," commented Raj Prabhu, managing partner of Mercom Capital Group. "With the drastic fall in crystalline-silicon PV prices over the last two years, most other technologies have struggled to compete."

Thin-film companies saw the largest amount of VC funding in 2012, although the total fell 47 percent to $314M compared to almost $600M in 2011. Within thin-film, the copper indium gallium (di) selenide (CIGS) sub-category received 85 percent, or $274M, of the total in 2012. Over the past three years, thin-film companies have received the most VC funding with almost $1.5B, of which, CIGS has received more than $1B. The solar sector's drop in VC investments is directly related to the struggles of thin-film companies, especially CIGS, noted Prabhu.

On the other hand, solar downstream companies, especially solar lease companies, have benefitted from low module prices. VCs invested $269M in 25 deals in solar downstream companies. The Top 5 VC funding deals in 2012 were BrightSource Energy, a CSP company, for $83.6M, SolarCity, a solar lease firm, for $81M, CIGS company Nanosolar for $70M, solar lease company Sunrun for $60M, and MiaSolé, a CIGS company, for $55M.

Figure: Solar Top 5 VC Deals in 2012 (http://mercomcapital.com/assets/images/2012Q4PRImage2.jpg)

"The diminished funding activity is not a true reflection of the health of the solar sector because the demand side of global solar installations has continued to grow," said Raj Prabhu. "Global solar installations look set to grow by around 10-12 percent this year."

More than 140 investors participated in 2012. The most active investors in terms of deal numbers were New Enterprise Associates with four, followed by Black Coral Capital, Firelake Capital Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and SunPower, who participated in three deals each.

Corporate M&A activity in solar amounted to $6.7B in 52 transactions compared to $4B in 65 transactions in 2011. The two largest M&A transactions in 2012 were Eastman Chemical's acquisition of Solutia for $4.7B, and 3M Group's $860M purchase of Ceradyne. Other notable M&A transactions were Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group's acquisition of German PV manufacturer Q-Cells for $322M, and the $275M acquisition of Oerlikon Solar by Tokyo Electron.

"It was a buyer's market in 2012 -- acquirers were targeting distressed companies with the goal of buying technology or equipment on the cheap," commented Prabhu. "More than half the 52 M&A deals in 2012 involved solar manufacturers and equipment makers."

There were 12 corporate M&A transactions in Q4 2012 totaling $953M, with only six transaction amounts disclosed.

Figure: Solar VC Deals by Country 2012 (http://mercomcapital.com/assets/images/2012Q4PRImage3.jpg)

Mercom's report also includes announced large-scale project funding transactions. Active project investors in 2012 included The Development Bank of Southern Africa, HSH Nordbank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Export Import Bank of the U.S., KfW Entwicklungsbank, and Union Bank. Some of the active acquirers of projects in 2012 were investment funds including the likes of The Carlyle Group, BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners, ForVEI, and Capital Dynamics. Other active investor groups were project developers, utilities, independent power producers, and insurance companies.

The largest debt deal in 2012 was the $1.6B credit facility by China Development Bank, received by Sky Solar, a Chinese developer of solar projects. Loans, credit facilities and framework agreements announced by Chinese banks to Chinese solar companies have reached $52.6B since 2010.

Initial Public Offerings

In a sector devoid of successful exits, SolarCity's IPO was one of the few bright spots in 2012. SolarCity, a venture-funded company, raised about $95M in net proceeds. The other notable U.S. VC-backed solar IPO was Enphase Energy, whose debut at the end of March marked the first solar IPO in the United States since 2010.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/?wpsc-product=solar-annual-q4-2012-report

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications, research and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom's consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision making, delivering highly respected industry market intelligence reports, covering Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Smart Grid. Our reports provide timely industry happenings and ahead-of-the-curve analysis specifically for C-level decision making. Mercom's communications division helps clean energy companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities, and strategic partners. Visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To get a copy of Mercom's market intelligence reports, visit: http://mercomcapital.com/market_intelligence.php.

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.