Japan’s Softbank Group will invest $10 million in Exeger, a Swedish company developing solar technology for integration into devices such as headphones and tablet computers. In a related agreement, Softbank subsidiary SB Energy Corp has entered into a strategic partnership with Exeger to accelerate rollout of its technology.
Exeger has developed a product based on dye sensitized solar cell technology which it claims is the only solar cell that can be printed free-form and in various colors. It plans to produce cells at its Stockholm factory.
The strategic agreement aims to open up Softbank’s contacts book to the Swedish business to “open up a wider array of new Exeger powered products”, according to a joint press statement. With the investment, Softbank Group will have the right to boardroom representation at Exeger.
The Swedish company is in the process of rolling out its technology, and says it already has plans for capacity expansion in Stockholm. In June, the company opened an office in Shanghai as part of the Swedish Energy Agency’s Shanghai Cleantech Hub.
Interest dyes down
Dye sensitized solar cells were a popular area for research in the early 2010s, with several companies aiming for commercial production, but while scientists continue to investigate the technology, it has for the most part been eclipsed by perovskites in terms of commercial interest.
The investment from Softbank represents one of the largest commitments to a company looking to integrate solar into everyday electronic devices – another popular field of PV research. In January, scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology began work on a project with industry partners to develop perovskite modules that would be “freely configurable in size, shape and color”.