Clean-tech developer, Eight19, has announced the launch of a £5 million Series B funding round. The funding will be used for further development of the company’s low cost printed plastic solar film and for accelerating the deployment of Eight19’s IndiGo pay as you go solar power products. The Carbon Trust Rhodia SA gave the company £4.5 million in September 2010 and expects the new round will be taken up by a combination of existing and new investors.
Following the launch of Eight19’s IndiGo last September in Kenya, it will now deploy a further 4,000 units at the beginning of this year. It is also being launched in other parts of Africa and the Indian sub-continent. These products replace poorly performing kerosene lamps which also contribute significantly to ill-health and carbon footprint in emerging economies. According to the World Bank, the replacement market for kerosene lighting is worth over US$38 billion world-wide.
In the last month, Eight19 has also announced the commissioning of Europe’s largest printed solar development facility at its headquarters in Cambridge UK. The plant will be used to further develop Eight19’s flexible Printed Plastic Solar film using roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques at a peak linear speed of over 3.6km/h.
CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said, “This round of funding, which is expected to close in Q2, 2012 will underpin the next stage in the company’s journey to develop its leading technology base for low-cost printed plastic solar cells and to expand the deployment of off-grid solar power in emerging markets so that many more people can benefit from this revolutionary solar technology. The IndiGo “energy escalator” provides clean, renewable energy in a uniquely affordable way, allowing users to grow their energy supply over time. It will transform the lives of those living off-grid so that communities will be able to dispose of their kerosene lamps and replace them with electric lights”.