WHEB Partners, a major clean technology private equity firm, has invested in pvXchange, the global B2B exchange platform for photovoltaic components. Founded in 2004 in Berlin, Germany, pvXchange is active in markets in Europe, the US, Canada and East Asia, and is a regular contributor of spot price market updates in the Photovoltaics International journal. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
pvXchange acts as a distribution and sales channel for vendors and as a procurement source and decision-making tool for solar installers and distributors. In this way, the company aims to serve the solar module and component markets and to bring together the multiple tiers of the PV solar industry’s supply chain. In 2010, pvXchange traded 184MW of solar modules on its exchange platform.
The company has grown its traded volume by more than 100% annually for the past four years of trading. With this new injection of funding, the company aims to further increase its growth rates, enter new international markets and further its global technology reach. Hogan Lovells provided the legal services for the transaction and financial due diligence was carried out by RoeverBroenner.
“WHEB was attracted to pvXchange because of the scalability and universal applicability of its business model,” commented Jörg Sperling, partner at WHEB. “We estimate that the addressable market for this service was 7GW or €10.7bn in 2010 and it is forecast to grow to 21.6GW or €19bn in 2015. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the management team to make this a global success story.”
Kai Malkwitz, founder and managing director of pvXchange, said, “WHEB’s vast expertise in cleantech brings a valuable outside perspective to pvXchange. Early on in our funding process WHEB stood out as an honest, reliable and thorough partner. Their straightforward approach was refreshing. After the deal closed they immediately connected us to their global network and have already contributed significantly.”