Wakonda Raises US $9.5 Million in Financing

Wakonda Technologies Inc., a developer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products, announced that it has raised US $9.5 million in Series A financing. Wakonda is developing an inexpensive, patent-pending material that enables the production of high performance solar cells.

The financing round was led by Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), General Catalyst Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Applied Ventures LLC and the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund.

One of the applications Wakonda is developing technology for is space satellites. PV cells developed for satellites exceed 30 percent efficiency, which is above the efficiency of commercially-available silicon and thin film cells. However, the satellite cells can be very costly, as they are produced on single-crystal wafers made from III-V compounds such as gallium arsenide. Wakonda’s proprietary technology and process could enable a low cost, commercial material to simulate the expensive single crystal III-V wafer, according to the company.

“We are actively working to reduce the cost of solar systems to make solar energy competitive with conventional electric power,” said Les Fritzemeier Wakonda’s founder and CEO. “We’re delighted to have the support of this top-tier group of investors to help us accomplish this goal. Their experience and track records give us additional confidence that we will achieve our commercial market objectives.”

The company has been developing its technology in conjunction with the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Wakonda co-founder and CTO Ryne Raffaelle leads the NanoPower Research Lab.

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