Eight19 Announces Launch of £5M Funding Round
- Published: Wednesday, 01 February 2012 09:28
Eight19, the Cambridge UK based clean-tech developer of printed plastic solar cells and the IndiGo pay-as-you-go solar power technology for emerging markets, has announced the launch of a £5M “Series B” funding round.
The funding will be used for the 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, which are already attracting strong customer demand in emerging markets. Eight19 received £4.5M of funding in September 2010 from the Carbon Trust and Rhodia SA and it is expected that the new round will be taken up by a combination of existing and new investors.
The company has already announced that it is now beginning the mass rollout of pay-as-you-go solar products in Kenya, with 4,000 units scheduled for deployment in Q1 2012. Eight19’s IndiGo was launched last year in Kenya (September 2011) and is currently being rolled-out into 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 $38Bn world-wide. The pay-as-you-go model is attracting enormous interest globally and demand currently exceeds supply.
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 3.6 kilometres per hour. Eight19’s low cost, light weight and flexible solar technology is ideal for easy installation in rural environments, without the cost, weight, and complexity of conventional supporting hardware.
“Eight19 is making great strides in both technology development and roll out” said CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth. “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”.
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