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zouk invests in Sulfurcell, a leading German producer of thin film solar PV modules

Sulfurcell, a global leader in the development and manufacture of copper indium gallium sulphide/selenide (“CIS”/”CIGSE”) photovoltaics (“PV”), today announced it has secured EUR 85 million (USD 135M) equity funding for a significant expansion of its manufacturing capacity with a new plant in Berlin for CIS/CIGSe based thin-film solar modules. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 75 MW with an intermediate expansion to 35 MW. With this significant financing Sulfurcell will transfer its proprietary production technology, developed in its pilot plant, into mass production. The round will also fund Sulfurcell’s long-term development projects.

The round was led by Intel Capital, the global investment arm of Intel Corporation, which invested EUR 24M (USD 38M) and co-led by Climate Change Capital Private Equity with an investment of EUR 12M (USD 19M). Both investors were joined by a group of leading European Cleantech investors, zouk ventures (London), AIG Investments (Zurich), DEMETER (Paris) and BankInvest Group (Copenhagen). In addition, existing investors BEU Berliner Energie Umweltfonds GbR (a joint venture of Vattenfall Europe and Gaz de France), Vattenfall Europe Venture GmbH, Ventegis Capital AG, Masdar Clean Tech Investments Ltd. (New York), IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, and other individual investors participated in the financing round. EquityGate AG, Wiesbaden, acted as sole advisor to Sulfurcell in the equity and debt raising processes.

Dr. Nikolaus Meyer, CEO Sulfurcell, said: “This funding round constitutes a major milestone for Sulfurcell towards our goal of becoming a global leader in the CIS/CIGSe thin-film PV field. During its three years of operation, Sulfurcell’s current pilot production line has been successfully ramped to volume and reached a high level of maturity along all key process indicators including module power, throughput and yield.”

“With our aesthetically outstanding product and our manufacturing technology now ready for large-scale commercial roll-out, we have laid a solid foundation for an aggressive growth strategy”, said Meyer. “The capacity expansion to 75 MW annual production volume will enable us to respond to the rapidly increasing demand from our customers in all market segments and to deliver on the promise of CIS/CIGSe thin-film PV technologies.”

“Our investment in Sulfurcell confirms zouk’s strategy of investing in leading technology companies along the solar value chain. In addition to our clean technology funds, we have recently launched a solar project finance fund and expect to build on strong synergies with this new investment to create one of the leading thin film companies.” said Felix von Schubert, Partner at zouk ventures.

“Sulfurcell is a very exciting addition to Intel Capital’s global portfolio,” said Heiko von Dewitz, Investment Director of Intel Capital’s clean tech investments in Europe and Israel. “Intel Capital invested in Sulfurcell because both CIS and CIGSe thin-film PV have demonstrated potential for high conversion efficiencies, providing opportunities for further reductions in cost per watt, and enable emerging applications such as BIPV (‘building integrated photovoltaics’). Sulfurcell’s capacity expansion into high volume production will help with broader market adoption.”