The funding was led by Boston-based clean-tech fund Black Coral Capital and included participation from Presidio Ventures - an early-stage investment fund owned by Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. - as well as Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.
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.
Solantro will use the funding for the commercial rollout of its solar system chip sets, said Solantro founder and CEO Antoine Paquin who spent the past year raising this money.
"Fundraising in today's environment is virtually impossible," he said. "The burden of evidence to raise money was extremely high. It should always be high, but I've never had such a tough fundraising environment."
Mr. Paquin owned two Ottawa semiconductor companies before Solantro: Philsar Semiconductor Inc. and Axiom Microdevices Inc. None of the three companies have ever made a sale in Ottawa or Canada, he said, but instead have found success in international early-adopter countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the United States and several European nations.
The company, which has 25 employees, also secured a $2-million grant from the federal government last July to compare two types of solar panels with the aim of reducing costs and increasing yields.