mPower Technology raises $10Mn to produce silicon-based solar panels

mPower Technology, a solar cell technology startup that caters to the space industry, has recently said that it has raised $10 million for fast-tracking the production of silicon-based solar panels, which last summer gained flight heritage.

The funding was raised in a Series B round led by Cottonwood Technology – an early-stage investment firm, with participation from other space investors and Hemisphere Ventures.

According to Kevin Hell, mPower Technology CEO, the startup has now raised $16.5 million since it was turned down from Sandia National Laboratories in 2015.

He notified that earlier a government lab operated by Honeywell International – Sandia – also invested around $20 million worth of research and development in the technology before they spin it off.

The spin-off gave mPower the exclusive rights to solar technology called DragonSCALES, encompassing interrelated photovoltaic cells. According to Mr. Hell, the technology is more customizable than traditional cells available in the market, cheaper and more flexible for producing with automated processes.

DragonSCALES first received flight heritage aboard a small satellite which SpaceX introduced in June 2021 for Lynk Global, a startup producing a constellation of direct to cellphone connectivity.

Mr. Hell said that DragonSCALES is also working on other missions, which in several cases assume to launch between early to mid-2022.

Moreover, the firm plans to use its recently raised funding to expand its production facilities in New Mexico to churn out DragonSCALES that intends to manufacture 1.5 megawatts of power each year from the third quarter of 2022.

DragonSCALES uses commercial-off-the-shelf silicon-based tools and processes that enable mPower to incline up for a market that will require more than 50 megawatts per year in 5 years.

He added that the supply chain shortages that has hit the semiconductor industry hard will have fairly modest impact on its expansion initiative.

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