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SOLARCYCLE Raises $30M to Scale Advanced Recycling for the Solar Industry
OAKLAND, Calif., March 15, 2023-- SOLARCYCLE, a tech-driven recycling company focused on producing sustainable materials at scale for the solar industry, today announced that it has raised $30M in Series A funding, bringing the company's total funding to $37M since its inception a year ago.
The funds, consisting of both company equity and infrastructure financing, will be used to scale the company's growth in solar panel recycling capacity and expand materials remanufacturing capabilities. The round is led by Fifth Wall, the largest asset manager focused on improving, future-proofing and decarbonizing the built world, and HG Ventures, the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group. The round also included participation from Prologis Ventures, as well as existing investors Urban Innovation Fund and Closed Loop Partners. The announcement follows the initial $6.6M seed round the company raised in May 2022.
Experts in panel manufacturing, advanced recycling, and climate technology founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022 to create a more sustainable, domestic supply chain for the solar industry. Solar adoption is expected to accelerate over this decade, increasing from 150 GWp installed in 2021 to 650GWp installed per year in 2030. In order to meet the increasing demand for new solar panel production, SOLARCYCLE has developed proprietary technology that can cost-effectively return more than 95% of all the valuable materials, like aluminum, glass, copper, silver, and silicon, back into the solar value chain to help create a sustainable and scalable solar industry.
The infrastructure financing, led by Fifth Wall Infrastructure and Special Situations Partner Alok Sindher, provides asset-level equity capital for SOLARCYCLE's first-of-a-kind Odessa, Texas factory. Fifth Wall's complementary venture and infrastructure investments address a critical gap in investment for hardware-intensive businesses.
"Fifth Wall looked far and wide, and we believe SOLARCYCLE is the only company within North America aiming to do true, end-to-end solar panel recycling. Their deep solar industry partnerships and ability to extract valuable materials at reasonable cost, with efficient logistics, is what differentiates the company's position," said Peter Gajdoš, Partner and Co-Head of The Climate Tech Investment Team at Fifth Wall. "The rapid adoption of customers speaks to the quality of the solution and the growing market demand as solar panel portfolio ages. We are confident in management's ability to help lead the solar industry into the next chapter and make solar energy even more sustainable."
"I spent nearly twenty years in the solar industry, helping grow two large solar companies from scratch. When I co-founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022, I knew the moment was right to build an industry-backed advanced technology solution to recycling solar panels that ensures that valuable materials go back into the domestic supply chain," said Suvi Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of SOLARCYCLE. "This Series A funding will allow us to further advance our patented technology, grow partnerships with industry leaders, and rapidly build recycling infrastructure in the United States and beyond to mine old solar panels for making new solar panels."
Recent research projects that recyclable materials from solar panels will be worth more than $2.7 billion by 2030, up from $170 million this year. SOLARCYCLE works with residential, commercial and industrial (C&I), and utility companies to recycle solar panels at scale. The company is on track to install capacity to recycle one million solar panels per year by the end of 2023, and plans to open a vertically integrated, advanced recycling factory capable of processing millions of panels annually in 2024.
"SOLARCYCLE provides customers with the first scalable model for solar panel recycling, which aligns perfectly with HG Ventures' mission to partner with innovative, high-growth companies that support a sustainable future. We are delighted to support SOLARCYCLE's world class team developing a business model that is both an economic opportunity and an environmental necessity," said Kip Frey, Managing Director of HG Ventures.
"As the #2 generator of onsite solar in the U.S., we see a strong and urgent need for an advanced circular solar supply chain solution, which SOLARCYCLE delivers," said Will O'Donnell, Managing Director of Prologis Ventures. "We like that they are making solar energy even more sustainable, given their ability to extract 95% of the material from a panel and return them to the supply chain to make new solar panels."
The funding announcement follows a founding year in which SOLARCYCLE opened their first, advanced-technology solar recycling facility in Odessa, Texas, inked customer partnerships with major US solar companies, including Sunrun, Silicon Ranch, DEPCOM Power, SOLV Energy, NovaSource, Greentech Renewables, and Forum Energy Partners, and assembled a world-class management team with experience scaling companies such as Amazon, SunPower, and Nextracker.
SOLARCYCLE is a technology-driven platform designed to maximize solar sustainability by offering solar asset owners a low-cost, eco-friendly, comprehensive process for recycling retiring solar panels and technologies and repurposing them for new uses. The company's proprietary technology allows it to extract 95% of a solar panel's valuable metals, such as silver, silicon, copper and aluminum, and to recycle or repurpose panels currently in use. Experts in solar technology, recycling and sustainability founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022 to accelerate the circular economy for solar and renewables. www.SOLARCYCLE.us
About Fifth Wall
Founded in 2016, Fifth Wall, a Certified B Corp, is the largest asset manager focused on improving, future-proofing and decarbonizing the built world. Since 2016, Fifth Wall has raised the third-most capital of any venture firm globally ($2.9B), according to SEC Form D filings. With approximately $3.2B in commitments and capital under management, Fifth Wall is backed by a global mix of more than 110 strategic limited partners (LPs) from more than 15 countries, including BNP Paribas Real Estate, British Land, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Hilton, Hines, Host Hotels & Resorts, Kimco Realty Corporation, Lennar, Lowe's Home Improvement, Marriott International, MetLife Investment Management, MGM Resorts, Related Companies, Starwood Capital, Toll Brothers, and others. This consortium represents one of the largest groups of potential partners in the global built world ecosystem, resulting in transformational investments and collaboration with portfolio companies to cut emissions, improve efficiency, and maximize returns. Founded in Los Angeles and headquartered in New York, Fifth Wall's other offices include San Francisco, London and Singapore. For more information about Fifth Wall, its LPs, and portfolio, visit www.fifthwall.com.
About HG Ventures
HG Ventures is the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. HG Ventures supports innovation and growth across The Heritage Group by investing and partnering with innovative, high-growth companies to support a sustainable future. We leverage the world-class expertise of The Heritage Group operating companies and research center to offer a unique value proposition to our portfolio company partners. www.hgventures.com.