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- In 2010, investment in solar energy topped $350 million in California before dropping below $50 million just three years later. Investment began to pick back up in 2017 and has surpassed 2010 levels already in 2021. Almost all this money (98.8%) has come in the form of Later Stage venture capital. The only non-later stage VC invested in solar in 2021 was $4.6 million in early-stage venture capital raised by Swift Solar, a solar cell development company based out of San Carlos, CA.
- $250 million of the 2021 investment in solar was raised by Aurora Solar based in San Francisco, CA. They are developers of a 3-D modeling platform that aims to automate solar panel installation. Heliogen, a company out of Pasadena, CA that operates an energy platform that transforms sunlight into fuels like hydrogen and syngas, completed the second largest deal in 2021, generating $83 million in Later Stage VC investment. These two deals combined for 86 percent of the 2021 solar investment in California.
- As the solar industry has matured, smaller sources of funding have declined. 2021 marked the first time since 2011 that there was no Seed/Grant investment in Solar and the first time that no “Other” funding was raised since 2015. However, there was a Secondary Transaction at UltraSolar in Santa Clara, CA, where two owners sold their stakes in the Company for an undisclosed fee, but since the fee in undisclosed, it does not count toward the “Other” funding amount.