Global venture capital (VC) funding in the solar sector was up 50 per cent to $189 million in the April-June quarter of 2013 compared with the preceding quarter, signalling subpar investments in the solar segment for four quarters in a row, according to Mercom Capital, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm.
The global VC funding increased to $189 million in 19 deals during the second quarter of the current calendar year, a significant rise from the previous quarter when there were 26 VC funding deals worth $126 million. Solar downstream companies received most of the funding with $128 million.
The top VC deal of the quarter was the $69 million raised by Chinese solar developer Hefei Golden Sun Energy Technology from existing investor Jiangsu Akcome Solar Science & Technology. There were 27 active VC investors in the sector this quarter.
The Indian solar energy sector witnessed three VC funding deals during the quarter that included $50 million raised by Acme Solar, a solar project developer, for its 25 MW photovoltaic power plant in Madhya Pradesh, a $22.5 million long term project funding secured by Welspun Energy for its upcoming 20 MW solar power project in Maharashtra and a $8 million deal secured by Welspun’s arm Welspun Solar Kannada Pvt Ltd for its Karnataka solar project.
“The total corporate funding in the solar sector, including VC funding, debt financing and other types of funding raised by public companies through sale of shares total $ 915 million. “With solar technology companies struggling, investments have been going to downstream companies,” Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group said.
Solar third-party finance companies raised a record $1.33 billion in disclosed residential and commercial solar project funds this quarter, the strongest quarter ever for solar lease funds, with the total amount raised in the first six months almost equivalent to all of solar lease funds raised last year.
Solar M&A activity in Q2 2013 amounted to $1.27 billion in 18 transactions. Themes emerging out of this quarter’s M&A activity included consolidation in the inverter market, strategic acquisitions, and acquisitions of distressed assets or companies.