Heliatek moves to production phase of organic solar cells: receives US$27 million VC funding

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Having recently had their organic solar cells verified by Fraunhofer ISE with a power conversion efficiency of 6.07% for a tandem solar cell (active area of 2cm²), Dresden-based Heliatek has received a new round of funding to the tune of US$27 million to build its first production facility in Dresden.

“Over the course of the past two years, Heliatek has made impressive progress in terms of the efficiency and service life of its organic solar cells,” commented Dr. Alexander Flaig, Vice President Corporate Research at Robert Bosch. Bosch is one of several firms that initially invested in Heliatek. “The time has now come to also show just how cost-efficiently these cells can be manufactured under industrial conditions. This round of financing will enable the company to execute this important step – from the research laboratory to an initial production facility,” added Dr. Flaig.

“We believe that truly break-through third generation technologies that bring PV well beyond grid parity will be the success stories of the future, and we think Heliatek is excellently positioned to capture that opportunity,” explained Bart Markus, General Partner of Wellington Partners, the lead investor in this second round investment.

Heliatek’s organic cells are manufactured on light weight foil substrates in a continuous vacuum coating process. Their weight will be merely 500g/m2, instead of today’s customary 20kg/m2, the company said.

The start up had previously noted that it planned to increase the conversation efficiencies to 10%. Heliatek is targeting in particular mobile market and architectural (BIPV) applications.

Companies participating in this second round of funding also RWE Innogy Ventures and BASF Venture Capital, the High-Tech-Gründerfonds, eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG, the Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen Start-up GmbH & Co. KG and GP Bullhound Sidecar.

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