Green

Solar startup Alta Devices raises $72M — no, we still don't know what they do

Stealthy solar startup Alta Devices has raised a whopping $72 million from one of the longest list of high-profile investors you might ever see, which includes the likes of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates.

But despite the massive funding round, very little is actually known about what Alta Devices is working on. The company is supposedly working on developing highly efficient photovoltaic cells that capture light and convert it to electricity — which can be used to power everyday devices. But it seems Alta has some kind of serious ace up its sleeve and has charmed investors across the country.

A recent job posting indicated the company wants to develop photovoltaic cells that are around 30 percent efficient and can generate 1 watt of electricity at a cost of 50 cents.

The press release for the funding announcement was even more vague — “in addition to breakthroughs in advanced technology, the company is focused on manufacturing and form factor breakthroughs,” it reads. But the company was able to attract venture capital titans like Kleiner Perkins and August Capital. Dow Chemical, DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Energy Technology Ventures — a joint venture between General Electric, ConocoPhillips and NRG — also participated in the most recent funding round.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company plans to move a few minutes north to Sunnyvale, Calif., according to Green Tech Media. It has 55 employees and has filed for 35 patents, according to the job posting. The company also received a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop low-cost and highly-efficient photovoltaic cells.

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