Welcome!

.NET Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Greg O'Connor, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

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
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Be Among the First 100 to Attend & Receive a Smart Beacon. The Physical Web is an open web project within the Chrome team at Google. Scott Jenson leads a team that is working to leverage the scalability and openness of the web to talk to smart devices. The Physical Web uses bluetooth low energy beacons to broadcast an URL wirelessly using an open protocol. Nearby devices can find all URLs in the room, rank them and let the user pick one from a list. Each device is, in effect, a gateway to a web page. This unlocks entirely new use cases so devices can offer tiny bits of information or simple i...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
TechCrunch reported that "Berlin-based relayr, maker of the WunderBar, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware dev kit which resembles a chunky chocolate bar, has closed a $2.3 million seed round, from unnamed U.S. and Switzerland-based investors. The startup had previously raised a €250,000 friend and family round, and had been on track to close a €500,000 seed earlier this year — but received a higher funding offer from a different set of investors, which is the $2.3M round it’s reporting."
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital busines...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things needs an entirely new security model, or does it? Can we save some old and tested controls for the latest emerging and different technology environments? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, will review hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal privacy options and a new risk balance you might not expect.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.