Solantro Semiconductor raises $11 million to accelerate manufacturing

Ottawa’s Solantro Semiconductor Corp. announced Tuesday it has landed $11 million in series-B financing.

The latest funding comes from existing investors Black Coral Capital of Boston, Presidio Ventures – an early stage investment fund owned by Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. – New England-based Clean Energy Venture Group, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada as well as a new investor, Montreal’s Inerjys.

Founded in 2009, Solantro designs, manufactures and markets semiconductor chips for solar energy conversion equipment to provide higher energy yields as well as reduced costs, time and complexity, according to the company.

The company plans to use the latest funding to ramp up production of its digital power processor technology, which is used to control next-generation systems that convert solar energy into power suitable for the grid.

CEO Antoine Paquin said the new injection of cash proves that Solantro, which has nearly nearly doubled its headcount over the past three years to its current total of about 45, has "staying power" and a strong balance sheet.

“I think renewable energy is the place to be," he said from the firm's office in California. "People think the Internet was massive, but we haven't seen anything yet."

The funding follows a $10-million series-A investment round the company secured in 2012.

Solantro also received a $3.8-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a federally funded agency that supports the development of clean technologies, in September 2013. In December of that year, the provincial Ministry of Research and Innovation loaned Solantro $4 million to support field-testing of its technology.