Solar cell maker Solaicx, of Santa Clara, has raised $27.1 million more in a third round of funding to help it it expand production, saying its cells are more efficient.
The venture capital arm of D.E. Shaw & Co. led the round, which also included Mitsui Ventures and existing backers Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials Inc., Big Sky Ventures, Firsthand Capital Management, and Greenhouse Capital Partners.
The anouncement is here.
The company says its use of single crystal silicon ingots makes its process lower cost than competitors. It gets by with less silicon, a material that is costly because it is in short supply. However, many solar start-ups say they have a better way to produce solar cells, and the trick has been whether they can get to market and execute. Just a few days ago, a secretive company, competitor OptiSolar went to market with a deal to supply the largest solar farm in North America, boasting a soup-to-nuts product — it makes the cells, and also manages the power generation and sales process.
Like other companies, Solaicx has seen delays. Last November, it said it would open a second plant by second quarter in Portland. However, now it is saying it hasn’t selected a site yet, and wants to start production by the end of this year. It has been working for more than five years on its product.
The company has now raised $43.9 million. Last November, it raised its last round.