Sunpartner Technologies has just raised € 5.2 million (5.6 M$) from ACAPITAL and historical investors. Sunpartner invented the invisible photovoltaic component Wysips® and specializes in NETs (New Energy Technologies). The company is also launching production of its solar Wysips® Glass for the transportation and construction industries.
A New Capital Campaign to Launch Production of Wysips® Glass
Sunpartner Technologies has just completed a new round of fundraising totaling €5.2M (5.6M$). This round was marked by the entry of ACAPITAL, a renowned investment fund specialized in helping European mid-size companies expand in Asia. With its international network and its focus in China, A CAPITAL will support Sunpartner Technologies’ growth in Asia. A CAPITAL also joins Sunpartner’s Executive Board.
Andre Loesekrug-Pietri, President of ACAPITAL, said « We’re delighted to support Sunpartner Technologies’ growth and to sit on its board. This company, the epitome of FrenchTech, is at the core of ACAPITAL’s strategy to invest in energy and the environment and to support mid-size European companies’ global expansion. Sunpartner’s innovative solutions in connected devices, energy-efficient building materials, and transportation should have a huge impact on the Asian and Chinese markets especially, as they are experiencing rapid change because of urbanization and digitizing their societies. »
Sunpartner Technologies has now raised a total of €45M ($48.7 M) since its creation in 2008 — € 15M ($16M) in 2015 alone. These funds will be used to expand production and launch products on the market.
Historical partners such as SPDG, an investment fund of the D’Ieteren Group specialized in the automobile industry, and Eurowatt Partner, also invested during this round, proving their confidence in Sunpartner Technologies’ growth potential.
“ACAPITAL’s investment in Sunpartner Technologies is key to our growth in Asia. Products with our technologies are starting to reach the consumer market through several partnerships in China and Japan. China is a crucial market for us and ACAPITAL’s experience and support enable us to accelerate our presence there. I’d also like to thank our historical investors for their continued confidence.”
—Ludovic Deblois, CEO Sunpartner Technologies
Wysips® Glass: High-Tech Manufacturing of Smart Glazing in France
This new capital will be used to set up high-tech production facilities in France for transparent, solar Wysips® Glass for large surfaces, with a capacity of 30,000m2 of smart glazing per year. The site will be operational by 2017 and will make next-generation PV modules, which will be integrated into the glazing in partnership with leading manufacturers. This smart glazing is destined for transportation, smart buildings, and net energy positive buildings.
With Wysips® Glass, Sunpartner positions itself as a key player in the promising smart glazing market. The smart glass industry is expected to grow exponentially, from $88 M a year in 2013 to over $3 Bn in 2022 (source: Net Research, December 2015 “Electrochromic Glass and Film Markets 2016-2023”).
Buildings are the biggest consumers of energy. In the US and Europe, buildings account for about 41% of total energy consumption. To reduce this energy use, Europe has a directive calling for net positive energy buildings in the next 3-5 years, and California has passed legislation requiring all new homes to be net zero energy by 2020.
Sunpartner’s Wysips® Glass is perfect for meeting these ambitious goals. The PV component is integrated into the building’s glazing and produces electricity from light, helping reach net positive energy. When coupled with a smart switchable film, for example, the window can then power itself. Wysips® Glass is a rigid, transparent photovoltaic component with a yield of 10 to 90 Watts/m² depending on the transparency required, from 10 to 80%.
Wysips® Glass can power all of a window’s new features: retractable awnings, sensors, lighting systems, automatic opening and closing systems, shading systems, and sun protection, without connecting to the grid, simplifying installation, and using renewable energy.
This technology is already on the market. The aviation supplier Vision Systems has unveiled the first electronic dimming and energy self-sufficient aircraft window using Wysips® Glass. The solar energy captured on the ground and in flight is stored in a battery integrated into the window. The electrical energy not only powers the sun protection system during flight, it also recharges electronic devices (tablets, mobile phones, computers, etc.) via a USB port in the window. Vision Systems and Sunpartner Technologies are also currently developing an electronic dimming sun visor.
In addition to buildings and aircraft, Wysips® Glass helps automotive, boating, and rail companies who are looking for energy-saving, breakthrough innovations. The automobile market is particularly considerable, with 100 million new cars registered per year by 2020. Wysips® solar provides enough electricity to power certain local features and even to power those applications when the vehicle is turned off.
Sunpartner Technologies Expands in Asia
In 2016, nearly 50% of Sunpartner Technologies’ revenue will come from in Japan, with several partners including NTT DOCOMO and KYOCERA. To accelerate Sunpartner’s position in Asia, the company is developing new partnerships in Japan, where discussions are underway with around ten companies in the glazing, watch, screen, and accessories industries.
At the same time, the company is expanding in the Taiwanese and Chinese markets, where it has an office in Shenzhen. In China, the first markets targeted are smartwatches, with production starting in summer 2016, and accessories, whose production will launch in Q2 of 2016. Sunpartner Technologies then plans to target the glazing industry in China.
Investors in this Capital Campaign:
> SPDG: Olivier Périer
> Eurowatt: Roland Rémondet
> ACAPITAL: André Loesekrug-Pietri, Gregory Van Bellinghen
> Sunpartner: Ludovic Deblois
About Sunpartner Technologies
Sunpartner Technologies is an engineering company specializing in Solar NETs (New Energy Technologies). They develop invisible, transparent solar energy solutions that are completely design neutral and seamlessly integrate into target products. In particular, the company invented Wysips® (What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface), which has 5 mature technologies: Wysips® Crystal for screens, Wysips® Glass integrated into glazing, Wysips® Cameleon for signs and billboards, Wysips® Reflect for reflective screens, and Wysips® Graphics for connected devices. Sunpartner Technologies regularly receives awards both for its innovation and from the business community, such as the Nobel Sustainability® Clean Tech Company award in 2013 and Technology Pioneer 2014 from the World Economic Forum. The company was also named one of the Top 100 Global Cleantech companies in 2014. Based in Aix-en-Provence (France), the company has a team of 53 employees. www.sunpartnertechnologies.fr
ACAPITAL is a leading private equity fund that invests in European companies with strong potential for international growth. Its track record includes the success of companies such as Club Med and Bang & Olufsen. ACAPITAL has a unique network and experience in China, which the fund makes available to its portfolio companies to help them become truly international and to build strategic profitable partnerships in the world’s largest market. ACAPITAL invests in industries related to sustainable growth, particularly in environment and energy, by relying on the expertise of its Operating Partners. ACAPITAL has received several awards for its innovative approach promoting small and mid-sized European companies, its experience in Asian markets, and its semi-annual Dragon Index assessing Chinese investments throughout the world.
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