Singapore’s huge SWF, Temasek, backs US solar tech firm

Fund joins pension investors by buying into Innovalight fundraising.

An arm of Singapore’s huge $120bn sovereign wealth fund Temasek has bought into a California-based solar cell technology company. Temasek’s Vertex Venture Holdings subsidiary – alongside fellow state-run investor EDB Investments – has participated in an $18m (€12.6m) fundraising by solar cell technology company Innovalight. Vertex typically specialises in technology and life sciences and Innovalight will be its first investment in renewable energy technology, although EDBI’s cleantech portfolio includes biofuels firm Avantium, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems and an investment in Zouk Ventures’ Cleantech Europe II fund.
Existing Innovalight investors – Apax Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Convexa Capital, Harris & Harris Group, Sevin Rosen Funds and Triton Ventures – also participated in the fundraising.Norwegian house Convexa’s investors include the Norsk Hydro Pension Fund, Storebrand and DnB NOR while ARCH’s previous co-investors in other projects include names such as CalPERS and TIAACREF.
Innovalight is a privately-held firm which develops high efficiency solar cell materials and technology; it has received development funds from the US government. EBDI’s chief executive Swee-Yeok Chu, said: “With its elegant and cost-effective technological platform to improve performance of silicon-based photovoltaics, Innovalight is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the fast growing solar market. The company fits well with EDBI’s investment interest in highly promising growth stage clean technology companies globally and helping them grow their businesses and operations in Asia through Singapore.”