Kiwigrid raises a double-digit million Euro Series C from Aqton, Stefan Quandt’s family office that also invested in Heliatek’s Series D, Innogy and LG Electronics to build a global energy IoT platform. The Dresden-based smart green startup won the ECO16 Gold Award in the late stage category and has got over 105 employees. High-Tech Gründerfonds, Germany’s largest seed investor with 80% public money, and Innogy Venture Capital, the old corporate VC fund of Innogy that is in its divestment period, sold their shares completely and celebrate a financial exit with positive returns.Read more
Capital-intensive smart green startups in Europe aiming at building their own hardware factories have a hard time fundraising. Financially motivated VCs require capital efficiency and prefer hardware startups that outsource manufacturing and the necessary CAPEX. Financing new PV factories in Europe is even more difficult due to China’s hegemony. It turns out it can only be done if you develop the next generation of PV technology, continuously improve efficiency and work diligently on building a co-investor syndicate of family offices, corporates and governments. Keep in mind that it was the Chinese government that backed a myriad of Chinese manufacturers to hijack the global PV industry. After a very long fundraising journey, 10-year old Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) pioneer Heliatek finally found the capital to build its second 3G solar factory in Dresden, Germany’s epicentre of photonics and organic semiconductors.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Nils Aldag pitches Sunfire at ECO14 Berlin. The Dresden-based late stage startup makes very efficient solid oxide electrolysers and fuel cells using the same technology platform. Last year Sunfire won Ecosummit Award 2014 Silver and entered Cleantech Group’s 2014 Global Cleantech 100. Sunfire has got 80 employees and is backed by Electranova Capital, Total Energy Ventures, Bilfinger Venture Capital and KfW. Their impressive list of customers includes ThyssenKrupp and Vaillant. Upon request Nils will share more customers that prove Sunfire’s enormous market traction that may lead to €10M revenues in 2015. Nils currently raises their next financing round and welcomes new strategic and financial investors that believe in Sunfire’s growth potential in the global hydrogen market.Read more
Ecosummit TV: CFO Harry Böhme tells the cleantech exit story of Novaled to Samsung at ECO13 London. Founded in 2001, the Dresden-based startup is a world leader in OLED (Organic LED) materials and Samsung is the biggest customer. In September 2011, Corporate VC Samsung Ventures invested and Novaled’s management made sure to limit Samsung’s stake and control to 10%. 2 years later, Samsung Cheil Industries (aka Samsung Chemical) and Samsung Electronics acquired the remaining 90% for €260M, including an earnout of €30M bound to reaching further milestones. Novaled’s revenues grew from €10M in 2010 to €26M in 2012 (price sales ratio of 10). With €29M of venture capital injected in Novaled the returns are pretty healthy.Read more
Congratulations to Novaled and its founders and investors which include eCapital, Germany’s most active cleantech VC. This is a fantastic exit that brings hope and money to the cleantech startup industry in Europe. Samsung Cheil Industries (aka Samsung Chemical) and Samsung Electronics buy 50% and 40% respectively of the Dresden-based late stage startup for a total of €260M of which €30M are bound to reaching further growth targets. Corporate VC Samsung Ventures maintains their 10% stake in the transaction. Founded in 2001, Novaled is a world leader in OLED (Organic LED) materials. Following a fabless strategy from the beginning, Samsung is Novaled’s biggest customer and it comes as no suprise that they turn out to be the acquirer. Novaled’s revenues grew from €10M in 2010 to €26M in 2012. Thus, Novaled’s valuation at exit is 10 times the 2012 revenues or, in other words, the price sales ratio is 10.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Carl Berninghausen pitches Sunfire at ECO13 Berlin. The Dresden-based cleantech startup made very good progress since their first performance at ECO11 Berlin. Now they have 50 employees, most of them engineers, who aim at €5M revenues in 2013. Recently, Bilfinger Venture Capital joined as corporate VC and strategic partner for the construction and operation of new Sunfire plants. Sunfire’s core technology is a high-temperature fuel cell which can be used for power-to-gas and power-to-liquids processes. At Ecosummit Berlin, we observed Sunfire in intensive talks with more than one VC. That’s the way it should be.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek, presents his Organic PV startup at ECO12. OPV is the third generation of solar technology and Heliatek is the global leader. The Dresden-based startup recently announced another efficiency world record of 10.7%. The efficiency roadmap goes up to 15-20%. But the real advantage of Heliatek is low cost per kwh as well as very green manufacturing processes without toxic materials. Now Heliatek looks for €60M for their Fab 2. Thibaud on Ecosummit TV is just the perfect sales pitch for their new financing round.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Prof. Karl Leo is Germany’s poster child when it comes to co-founding new smart green startups out of university. In his case, it’s the University of Dresden where he leads the Institute for Applied Photophysics. He simultaneously works with Fraunhofer IPMS to create even more value. Karl Leo is famous for co-founding Novaled which is heading for NASDAQ as well as Heliatek. His new startup that currently looks for smart green VCs invents OLED Microdisplays which are super energy efficient as you put them directly in front of the eye. Karl Leo is a role model for Europe’s university professors and we are happy that he joined Ecosummit 2012.Read more
As a warmup for ECO12, I would like to present 3 smart green startups from Germany that are in a unique position to be successful on the global Cleantech market. They have unique technology, achieved major milestones and look for strategic investors, partners and clients to enter new markets and grow faster. Let’s take a closer look at SolarFuel (Power to Gas), Heliatek (Organic Photovoltaics) and Flinc (Realtime Ride Sharing). All 3 startups are nominated for the ECO12 Award and join Ecosummit 2012 on 22-23 March in Berlin.Read more
Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Karl Leo, Dr. Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth and Dr. Martin Pfeiffer for winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2011 (DZP11) today. The DZP11 is awarded by the German President and includes €250K prize money. I am very proud of this trio and their work. Karl Leo is university professor at TU Dresden and co-founder of both Novaled and Heliatek, Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth is co-founder and CSO (Chief Scientific Officer) of Novaled and Martin Pfeiffer is co-founder and CTO of Heliatek. It’s all about organic electronics, organic LED and organic PV made in Dresden, Europe’s leading cluster for green photonics.Read more
The more I learn about this company, the more I like it. Heliatek is a world leader of Organic PV (Organic Photovoltaics) and they are getting ready to prove it. Since we visited Heliatek 6 months ago in Dresden for Ecosummit TV, a couple of things have happened. Heliatek has a new CEO and a beautiful new corporate identity. They’re in the middle of building the first factory in the world for OPV panels with a roll-to-roll vacuum production process. “For our next-gen organic solar cells we had to invent a totally new production system,” says Heliatek’s CTO Martin Pfeiffer. Heliatek’s factory of the future goes live in 2012. Kleiner, VantagePoint, Khosla, RockPort and DFJ take note: Heliatek plans a new funding round next year and wants the best US VCs in. A multi-billion dollar market is waiting to be conquered and 3G Solar made in Germany volunteers to do the job.Read more
Harry Böhme, CFO of Novaled, gives an update on his company at ECO11. Novaled is the fabless European leader in Organic LED (OLED) and one of the most exciting Cleantech startups in Germany. Founded in 2001, Novaled is profitable and made revenues of €10M in 2010 with 100 employees. Among Novaled’s investors is the German VC eCapital. Unfortunately, Novaled does not plan another financing round and may rather consider an IPO or tradesale some time in the future.Read more
Going smart green now should be our motivation on all levels. For the smart green transformation I propose a strategy based on 7 pillars. This strategy has to be elaborated into a full-featured global master plan. I invite everybody to contribute to the elaboration of the global master plan and to join its execution.
1. Our global goal should be the fast transformation to the Smart Green Economy.
2. Cities are the epicentre of economic activity and must go smart green now.
3. Companies should adopt smart green strategies offering sustainable products and services.
4. Fast cost reduction of smart green technologies is the key leverage for the mass market.
5. We have to change our lifestyle and become smart green consumers.
6. We have to shift political and financial power to the United Nations.
7. Huge investments of human and financial capital are necessary.
Let’s start now, improve continuously, measure our progress every year and use open innovation and transparent communication so that we can learn from each other. Let’s share our ideas and know-how online on a global scale.
Our new Ecosummit TV episode brings you more unknown secrets and untold stories about Europe’s leading OPV provider. Dresden is the place to be, explains Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, Founder and CTO of Heliatek: “I think I am not exaggerating when I say that Dresden is probably the best place in the world for organic electronics due to a high-quality cluster of research and production partners working with us.” We like this company and we believe Heliatek has a bright economic and ecological future. We need it, too!Read more
Organic PV (Photovoltaics) is very promising 3G Solar techno. We also call it Green Photonics. Heliatek is a German pre-revenue Cleantech startup with 50 employees currently setting up their first factory. Moving from lab to fab, Founder & CTO Dr. Martin Pfeiffer and CEO Dr. Andreas Rueckemann give hope. They believe their new ecofriendly solar cells made in Dresden will provide more energy for less money with very little ecological footprint. This nextgen green technology made ubiquitous with factories of the future can help us overcome nuclear disaster as it unfolds in Fukushima in Japan. We must reinvent our economy and repower it by 100% renewable energy and products. Let’s go smart green now and do the right thing!Read more