SoftBank doubles investment in Swedish solar cell maker Exeger to $20m

Exeger founder and CEO Giovanni Fili with solar cell for wireless headphone headband.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp has invested an additional $10 million in Stockholm-based solar cell manufacturer Exeger Operations AB, bringing the Japanese investor’s total investment in the Swedish firm to $20 million.

Exeger confirmed in a release that the $10-million investment from SoftBank is based on the execution of an option right, which was included in the agreement when the Japanese group invested $10 million in March.

The Swedish firm said the fresh funding from SoftBank will be used to strengthen the company’s organisation as it prepares for the delivery of its first products in 2020.

Founded in 2009 by Giovanni Fili, Exeger is a deep tech company that manufactures solar cells that are meant to work efficiently in both artificial and natural light, with the potential to enable self-powered devices.

The carbon positive Exeger material converts light to electricity in ambient light conditions, both artificial and natural light. The company’s first target application is within the consumer electronics industry with self-powered devices.

That means the company is looking at installing its solar cells in gadgets, wireless headphones, tablets, computers, IoT furniture and appliances, cars, walls, and rooftops.

The company operates from Stockholm and Uppsala in Sweden in close contact with Uppsala University, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and the Solar Energy cluster of the Uppsala-Stockholm region.

It owns a 300,000 square-meter facility in Stockholm, Sweden.

With the additional funding from SoftBank, Exeger’s total funding amount has reached $28.1 million. It first raised $2.6 million in 2010 and another €5.2 million ($5.7 million) from US investment firm Fortum in 2016.

The business of Exeger falls into one of the core business lines of SoftBank’s subsidiary SB Energy Corp of generating power using natural energy. Exeger entered into a strategic partnership agreement with SB Energy to accelerate the global rollout of its technology last March.

Since the establishment of SB Energy Corp in 2011, the firm has been engaged in solar-powered energy projects such as establishing solar parks as well as expanding through acquisitions.

“We want to always be relevant for consumers and lead the world into a new age of sustainable innovation through the adoption of our carbon positive material,” said Giovanni Fili, Founder & CEO of Exeger.

A strong relationship with the SoftBank Group, Fili added, will be a key factor in successful deployment into new markets.

SoftBank is “extremely happy” to support the global rollout of Exeger’s ground-breaking technology, said Shigeki Miwa, General Manager of SBG’s CEO Project Office.

“We are confident that Exeger’s carbon positive materials will dramatically transform people’s lifestyles and behaviour,” Miwa added.