sunpartner technologies News

23/06/2015

Sunpartner Technologies Raises € 8.8 M in Equity for Large-Scale Production of its Wysips® Invisible Photovoltaic Components (Wysips® Crystal, Glass, Graphics and Cameleon)

Aix-en-Provence, June 24, 2015 Sunpartner Technologies, inventor of the invisible photovoltaic film Wysips® and expert in NETs (New Energy Technologies), has just raised € 8.8 million in capital. This is double the € 4 M targeted initially, proving investor confidence. This capital will be allocated to producing its Wysips® technologies and to financing the company for 2016 and 2017.

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This capital equity was acquired from historical shareholders and private investors, including LAC INTERNATIONAL, a Belgian Family Office, and NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm of NTT group – the Japanese telecommunications group, and a subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO—the largest mobile operator in Japan, who had previously invested in the company in early 2015.

LAC INTERNATIONAL supports cleantech, wellness, and luxury goods companies in their growth, sharing its values of entrepreneurship, innovation and ethical responsibility. The Family Office, with a dozen employees, targets the geographical areas of Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America. The Company acquires holdings partly in venture capital and partly in growth capital, representing various degrees of equity holding.

Alexandre Leroy, joint shareholder of LAC INTERNATIONAL, said: « From a start-up, Sunpartner Technologies has become a scale-up. Ludovic Deblois and his team have achieved great progress and we are thrilled with the growing worldwide recognition of their unique and visionary expertise. We have supported Sunpartner Technologies since December 2013 and are pleased to invest in them once again. This round of fundraising is intended to provide the company with the financial means needed to reach its goal. We are investing with both historical shareholders as well as NTT DOCOMO Ventures and SPDG, who have joined in 2015, on this exciting entrepreneurial adventure based on a disruptive technology of the future. »

Nobuyuki Akimoto, Executive Vice President and COO of NTT DOCOMO Ventures, said: “We have got a firm confidence for Sunpartner Technologies and NTT group companies to grow up with mutually-benefits through the first and second investment in 2015, based on significantly newly a variety of invisible photovoltaic technologies provided by Sunpartner Technologies.”

Ludovic Deblois, CEO of Sunpartner Technologies, said: « We are very grateful for the renewed confidence of LAC INTERNATIONAL and NTT DOCOMO Ventures, who have both supported the company. LAC INTERNATIONAL and NTT DOCOMO Ventures share Sunpartner Technologies’ vision, which is valuable in a high-tech project that requires significant resources to reach its goals. « 

A new investor also joined the group: SPDG, an investment fund in the d’Ieteren Group, recognized for its strong expertise in the automotive distribution and repair sector. D’Ieteren serves almost 12 million individual and business customers in 34 countries through its two businesses: d’Ieteren Auto, the leading distributor of cars in Belgium, and Belron, the world leader in repairing and replacing vehicle windows through its more than ten major brands including Carglass®, Safelite® AutoGlass and Autoglass®. The SPDG fund invests in companies specialized in transportation solutions.

In addition to managing its strategic holdings in the d’Ieteren Group, SPDG has a growing portfolio of investments in association with entrepreneurs. These investments are primarily made in companies whose businesses are sustainable and profitable, supported by macro-economic trends or providing mobility solutions. These investments are made independently by SPDG but in accordance with the values of the D’Ieteren family.

According to Ludovic Deblois, CEO of Sunpartner Technologies, « This financing enables us to continue attracting strategic partners. The arrival of SPDG, an equity firm that invests in the glazing and transportation industries, is key to our growth. Sunpartner targets several markets such as transportation, construction, telephony, connected objects and displays, and the expertise of our partners is a considerable advantage in achieving success. In the next two years, many new products with our Wysips® technologies will arrive on the market and optimal management of our financial strategy is key to achieving our goals. « 

Olivier Périer, CEO of SPDG, said, « We are delighted to have been able to invest in Sunpartner Technologies and we are convinced of its exceptional growth potential. The combination of our companies’ experience will enhance the strengths of Sunpartner Technologies as they approach a turning point in their growth. »

Sunpartner Technologies will use this capital to launch large-volume production of its Wysips® Crystal components for telephone and smartwatch screens, of Wysips® Glass, a smart glass for the construction and transport industries, of Wysips® Cameleon for billboards and signage, and of Wysips® Graphics used in connected objects.

Products with Wysips® Cameleon and Wysips® Graphics are arriving on the market throughout 2015.
As for Wysips® Crystal and Wysips® Glass, Sunpartner Technologies’ customers require production in the second half of 2016. To meet this strong demand, the company recently signed an industrial partnership with the Chinese leader Laibao Hi-Tech Co, specialized in making flat screens.

By the end of 2015, Sunpartner Technologies will raise € 6 M ($6.7 M) to meet its remaining needs.
Since its creation in 2008, Sunpartner Technologies has raised a total of € 39.8 million ($ 44.7 M).

Participants:
• LAC INTERNATIONAL: Jean-Michel Deyne, CFO – investment@lac-office.com
• NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.: Yasuhiro Mita, Senior Director
• SPDG: Denis Pettiaux, CFO
• Legal Counsel for Sunpartner Technologies: Henry de Mercey, SCP Chriqui Mercey and Associates

Appendix – page 3: Recent achievements and new projects under way

About Sunpartner Technologies
Founded in 2008, Sunpartner Technologies is an engineering company specializing in Solar NETs (New Energy Technologies). They develop invisible, transparent solar energy solutions that are completely design neutral and seamlessly integrate into target products. In particular, the company invented Wysips® (What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface), which has 4 mature technologies: Wysips® Crystal for screens, Wysips® Glass integrated into glazing, Wysips® Cameleon for signs and billboards, and Wysips® Graphics for connected devices. Sunpartner Technologies has regularly received awards both for its innovation and from the business community, such as the Nobel Sustainability® Clean Tech Company award in 2013 and Technology Pioneer 2014 from the World Economic Forum. The company was also named one of the Top 100 Global Cleantech companies in 2014. Based in Aix-en-Provence (France), the company has a team of 53 employees. www.sunpartnertechnologies.com

Media Contact Sunpartner Technologies
Marion CHANSON
+33 (0)6 15 71 16 76
marion.chanson@sunpartner.fr

Recent Achievements and New Projects Underway

Sunpartner Technologies’ clients are looking for innovations that add significant value to their products. Wysips® technologies meet these needs by providing energy and powering new features by light energy.

• Smartphones and Smartwatches
Sunpartner Technologies has expanded its presence in these markets through partnership agreements and new products developed primarily with Kyocera, TRULY, and TCL Communication, which is a maker of smartphones sold under the brand ALCATEL ONETOUCH and TCL. Sunpartner Technologies has also recently signed a strategic partnership with the company Névo to create Névo solar, the first solar wireless analog watch, which will reach market in summer 2015.

• International Research Program on LiFi
In March 2015, TCL Communication and Sunpartner Technologies launched an international research program to use the Wysips® Crystal component as a LiFi receiver (Light Fidelity). This technology enables data transmission via LED bulbs. Wysips® is currently the only technology on the market that not only charges the battery of screens and mobile devices (mobile phones, e-readers, sensors, electronic shelf tags, watches), but also receives information transmitted by visible light waves (VLC-visible Light Communication) without drawing on the device battery. Wysips® offers many advantages for LiFi applications, which are strongly emerging in Europe as well as in Asia. For example, China has decided to significantly expand LiFi use in the building industry.

• Smart Glazing for Transportation and Construction
Sunpartner Technologies and Vision Systems have developed a self-powering, electronic dimming window for the aviation market. This new product can also be adapted for the building and the transport market, in automotive and rail. Wysips® Glass technology powers new, local features and devices near the window by harnessing light, while avoiding the hassles, costs, and weight associated with conventional electrical wiring. Discussions are underway with leading companies in these high-volume markets.

• Billboards and Backlit Signage that Power Themselves
PRISMAFLEX INTERNATIONAL and Sunpartner Technologies are launching the first pilot billboards and illuminated signs that can power themselves, equipped with Wysips® Cameleon technology.
In addition, negotiations are at advanced level with companies in Asia specializing in street furniture.

• Connected Devices

Sunpartner Technologies will launch a solar smart cover for telephones with Avenir Telecom at the IFA Show, held in September 2015 in Berlin.