NanoGram lands $32 million, bulks up solar business

Specialist in nanomaterial manufacturing will use its process to develop silicon cells.

NanoGram, a company with a nanomaterial manufacturing process, has raised $32 million in venture funding which will be used to accelerate development of its silicon solar cells.

The Milipitas, Calif.-based company is one of many trying to engineer a leap in solar cell efficiency using materials technology.

The efficiency of traditional silicon solar cells--the most widely used material for cells--is progressing incrementally.

But many companies are pursuing are investing in manufacturing processes to both improve the efficiency of converting light to electricity and to bring down the cost of manufacturing. Start-up Nansolar last month began shipping its first cells and predicted it will get solar electricity below one dollar per watt.

NanoGram's technology development will be geared at its proprietary solar cells, as well as production of flat penel displays and printed electronics, it said.

Existing investors joined the third round, which include ATA Ventures, Bay Partners, Harris & Harris, Institutional Venture Partners, Nth Power, Rockport Capital Partners, SBV Venture Partners, and Technology Partners.

New investor are Global Cleantech Capital, Masdar Clean Tech Fund, Mitsui Ventures, Nagase & Co., Nanostart AG, TEL Venture Capital, and Yasuda Enterprise Development.

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