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Is Nanosolar Worth $2 Billion?

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nanoIs Nanosolar worth a whopping $2 billion? Nanosolar seems to think so, at least according to a rumor being reported by CNet. The article quotes sources saying Nanosolar is valuing itself in the $2 billion-range as they shop for more funding. We contacted the company and they refused comment.

While we’re all for shameless self-promotion, we have to wonder about that valuation. Nanosolar only started selling product last December.

So what has Nanosolar got that’s worth so much? In intellectual capital, Nanosolar has a portfolio of over 180 patents in development, according to CrunchBase. In 2004 the company acquired the complete intellectual portfolio of Unisun Corp., which had filed for some of the earliest patents in printed CIGS technology.

In terms of funding, the company, founded in 2002, has raised over $100 million in capital from Sand Hill Road heavyweights like Mohr Davidow Ventures and Benchmark Capital, as well as the Google guys Larry Page and Sergey Brin. And the company won a $20 million grant from the Department of Energy as part of the Solar America Initiative.

On the facilities side, Nanosolar is working on a solar manufacturing plant in a 140,000 square-foot space previously in San Jose that used to be occupied by Cisco Systems. And according to its web site, Nanosolar has an additional 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space outside of Berlin.

So do all of these assets add up to a $2 billion valuation? Combined with the promise of making solar electricity “cost-efficient for ubiquitous deployment, mass-produced on a global scale [and] available in many versatile forms.” the answer is a definite…maybe?

So who will be the first billion-dollar biofuel startup? Or billion-dollar electric vehicle startup? Speculate in the comments below.

17 Responses to “Is Nanosolar Worth $2 Billion?”

  1. This company, and others say they are “making these panels by the mile”.

    We’ve been looking for one to buy and test out for years, haven’t found a single one yet . . .

    Does anyone know if there really is such a device, and where to find and purchase them ?

    Thanks !

    (We’re totally solar power, so our community is a laboratory for these devices.)

  2. Nanosolar will ship its’ first 100,000 panels to Europe where a consortium is building a 1.4 megawatt powerplant with them (too bad our government is just really busy talking about doing things like this). California just passed an initiative offering tax rebates for 100,000 solar roofs per year – every year – for the next ten years. I’m sure Nanosolar will be getting a tremendous number of orders from this.
    No one is going to be buying shares of Nanosolar as they are a privately held company at this point. But rest assured that the second they do go public, I will be standing there with a goodd-sized hunk of money to purchase as many shares as I am able. Instead of blubering and crying for goverment bailouts, they are busy building plants and manufacturing products for sale. Nanosolar, I salute you.

  3. I don’t think anyone is pretending that solar will provide all the earth’s energy right now.

    Solar, wind and ocean waves offer huge promise but we still will need another source.

    Hydrogen can do that. We have a solution. contact us now

  4. Nanosolar will not save the world as it uses CIGS technology uses indium in its production, it being one of the rarest elements on earth, and even all of it were to go into CIGS solar cells it would not even come close to supplying the energy needs of the world. I am sorry to see such companies make such bold claims. They do however make venture capitalists happy as they obtain quick returns on their investment. The PV industry is in a way shooting itself in the foot by selling products far above the best practice cost of production. (More on this some other time). Let me just say that solar cells produced with Silicon can cost as little as €1/Wp, having an energy return in less than two years and a gauranteed lifetime of 20 years and viable lifetime of over 30 years. What sort of other industry or product produces such claims?
    We cannot let companies jump on the band waggon and make astronimical profits by providing costly solar panels which are subsidised by governments. If this is cleared out PV can prove itself to be a viable energy source, but it is UP TO THE COMPANIES THEMSELVES to come clean now, reduce their short term profits but think of the future revolution they can catalyse. If we believe in the freemarket…

  5. There are 31 CIGS start-ups that we know of, of which nanosolar is one. CIGS is just one of a number of materials that maybe used in thin film PV and ALL companies in this sector claim to be able to reach grid parity, roughly defined as 8 – 10c per kWh. The question is what does Nanosolar have over the other 100+ companies in the sector, not whether they will achive grid parity.

  6. Alex P

    It’s not worth $2 Billion, my guess is that it’s worth $2 trillion. They claim that they are cost competitive with coal in generating electricity. Exxon is worth close to $300 billion, and they are just one oil company. If nanosolar is correct, they’re worth more than all oil companies market value combined. Energy this cheap means each house on the planet has $10,000 worth of solar panels that runs the house and their plug in electric cars, forever or at least the next billion years until the sun goes out. The big boys wouldn’t be investing at $2 B value if they weren’t planning on hitting a home run! The IPO will be an amazing event.

  7. gees god ecoturds are a pain in the hemoroids. You people need to watch South Park more. If you had you would know that being an activist is totally gay. Until all this vapor ware comes out we need to drill drill drill anywhere we think there is oil. When the problems are solved then we can drill some more because it will take 8 years minimum to deploy them widely enough to actually make a dent!

  8. What are the efficiencies of thier films/panels/products? (11% or 20%)
    How long they will last? (1year or 30years)
    What are the efficiency degradation rates of their products? (Do they start off at 20% and then drop down to 10% after afew years?)

    I love green tech /power but we wont know how good their technology is until Nanosolar answer these questions.
    Until we have this information any investment in Nanosolar is a speculative gamble.

  9. Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

  10. Are you kidding me? RE<C! If they deliver what they promise, they should be worth 20 billion! No, 200 billion!

    If Facebook can be valued at 15 billion, whats wrong with a 2 billion dollar valuation which is going to solve all the problems of the world.