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Exclusive: Solar startup Caelux raises $12M from Temasek, Khosla

Illustration of golden solar panels.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Singapore investment giant Temasek led a $12 million investment in solar coatings startup Caelux, rounding out the Series A at $24 million in its final close.

Why it matters: The money will fund Caelux's plans to build the biggest factory outside China making perovskite-coated solar modules, which can generate up to 30% more energy than conventional panels.

Catch up fast: Solar modules typically use silicon to convert light into electricity. The use of perovskite, in addition to silicon, increases the energy production.

  • Combining silicon and perovskite onto the same panel converts a broader spectrum of light into electricity — generating a third more energy.
  • Among the challenges: durability and cost.

The latest: Caelux, based in Pasadena, Calif., says it's figured out how to mass produce pervoskite-coated modules.

Driving the news: Reliance New Energy, Khosla Ventures, Mitsui Fudosan, and Fine Structure Ventures joined Temasek in the round, which closed this summer.

  • The round was raised at a $95 million post-money valuation.

What's next: Caelux is building a 100 MW factory in Baldwin Park, Calif.

  • "This is going to be the largest perovskite factory of its kind in the Western world," CEO Scott Graybeal tells Axios.
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