Venture capital (VC) funding in the solar sector dipped this quarter, coming in at $354 million, compared to $658 million in Q1 2011. Even with lower funding, the number of deals remained steady with 26 deals funded in Q2 2011 compared to 25 deals in Q1.
“Year-to-date funding in solar is still very strong coming to approximately $1 billion. At this point in 2010, VC funding was approximately $1.3 billion. 2011 may still end up higher in terms of VC funding, considering the second half of 2010 was weak. Q2 was a huge M&A quarter for the solar sector with M&A activity equaling almost the whole of 2010,” commented Raj Prabhu, Managing Partner at Mercom Capital Group.
The top five funding deals included a $94.4 million raise by Suniva, a manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules in Series D funding; Enecsys, a grid-connected solar micro inverter manufacturer raised $41 million in Series B; Agile Energy, a developer of utility-scale renewable power projects, raised $24 million in Series B; Semprius, a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) module manufacturer raised $20.6 million in Series C and SolarReserve, a developer of utility-scale solar thermal power projects, raised $20 million in a Series C round.
Photovoltaic (PV) technology companies attracted the most funding in Q2 with $107 million going into just three deals. Balance of System (BOS) companies were the most active in terms of number of deals with $89 million going into six deals.
Forty-seven different VC investors participated in 19 disclosed deals. VC firms that recorded multiple rounds included Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, GE, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Rockport Capital and Good Energies.
It was another record quarter for M&A activity with Q2 coming in at $1.9 billion for 11 transactions, compared to $1.4 billion in Q1 2011. The most notable transaction was the 60 percent acquisition of SunPower, a manufacturer of high efficiency PV panels by French oil and gas giant, Total, for $1.4 billion.
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