Intel, Climate Change Capital lead €85m solar investment

The venture investors have co-led the funding round for Germany’s Sulfercell, which will support the construction of a manufacturing facility. The investment is the first for CCC’s €200m private equity fund.

Intel Capital and Climate Change Capital have co-led an €85 million ($135 million) round of venture funding for German solar cell manufacturer Sulfercell.

Intel Capital, the venture arm of Intel Corporation, contributed €24 million in financing and Climate Change Capital (CCC), a UK investment bank dedicated to clean energy and a low carbon economy, contributed €12 million.

The equity will be used to fund the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Berlin allowing for mass production and to finance long-term development projects. Sulfercell’s thin-film solar modules enable uses such as integrating solar cells into the core structure of roofs and walls.

“The company is at an early enough stage that they can benefit from the kinds of manufacturing skills that we apply in our traditional business,” Intel Capital managing director Stephen Eichenlaub told PEO. “There is a lot of thin-film running around in semi-conductor design.”

This is the first investment for CCC’s Climate Change Capital Private Equity, a €200 million cleantech fund that closed in September 2007. Sulfercell “is in the sweetspot of our later stage expansion capital investment strategy”, partner Alex Betts said in a statement.

Intel Capital invests cash from Intel Corporation with the objective accelerating innovations in support of Intel’s corporate objectives. “We bring access to technologists and know-how and channels and potential customers,” said Eichenlaub. “We can augment the knowledge base and in some cases the technology base of the companies in which we invest.”

Intel and CCC were joined by AIG Investments, Demeter Partners, Zouk Ventures and BankInvest Group which committed €26 million as a group.

Existing investors BEU Berliner Energie Umweltfonds, Vattenfall Europe Venture, Ventegis Capital, Masdar Clean Tech Investments, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and a number of individuals contributed the remaining €23 million.