Amazon Invests $31 Million in Low-Light Solar Technology Firm Ambient Photonics
Ambient’s solar cells generate thrice more power than conventional energy
May 19, 2022
Ambient Photonics, a low-light solar photovoltaic cells manufacturer, raised $31 million in a Series A funding, led by Amazon via its Climate Pledge Fund and Ecosystem Integrity Fund.
Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and I Squared Capital were the other participants in the funding.
Ambient intends to use the funding to build the world’s largest U.S.-based low-light solar cell production facility with a fully automated production line and capacity for tens of millions of units per year.
The company claims its low-light energy-harvesting photovoltaic technology generates as much as three times more power than conventional technology, harvesting energy across the entire light spectrum – including both artificial and natural light. The company has also partnered with IoT and smart home device partners, like Universal Electronics, to help eliminate disposable batteries or reduce rechargeable battery mass.
Commenting on the financing, Ambient CEO, Bates Marshall, said, “The future of IoT and connected devices is energy harvesting, and that future requires massive scale. This financing empowers us to deliver our industry-leading technology to some of the world’s highest-volume IoT device manufacturers with a significant decarbonization impact. We’re opening up entirely new possibilities for products that are designed from the ground up from more sustainable energy sources.”
Ambient plans to continue to progress its Part II application for a $162 million loan guarantee under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program to scale its production facilities. The facilities will generate hundreds of local jobs while contributing to transformative reductions in Scope 3 emissions.
Matt Peterson, director of The Climate Pledge Fund at Amazon, said, “Disposable batteries are both a consumer inconvenience and a significant environmental problem. We are excited that through The Climate Pledge Fund, we will invest in Ambient to help in their path toward creating innovative solutions to decrease the carbon footprint of battery-operated devices across industries.”
In April this year, Amazon announced 37 new renewable energy projects worldwide, including solar, wind, and battery integrated projects, totalling 3.5 GW of clean energy capacity, in line with its target to achieve 100% renewable energy to power its operations by 2025.
According to Mercom’s Q1 2022 Solar Funding and M&A Report, global VC funding for the solar sector in the first quarter (Q1) 2022 came to $1.2 billion in 26 deals, a 45% decrease compared to $2.2 billion raised in 19 deals in Q4 2021. Year-over-year funding was 19% higher compared to Q1 2021.