$20m backing lights way for G24i’s growth
by Sion Barry, Western Mail, Jul 2 2008
CARDIFF-based G24 Innovations (G24i), which is pioneering solar powered technology solutions, has received a $20m (US) investment boost. Morgan Stanley Principal Investments (MSPI) has backed the commercial potential of the company which has its headquarters at Wentloog. MSPI’s investment comes in the form of newly-issued ordinary shares, giving it a minority stake and the right to appoint a director to the board.
MSPI will be the lead investor in G24i’s on-going fundraising, in which the company expects to raise additional primary capital to fund growth in the next two years. Founders and existing shareholders Robert Hertzberg, chairman, and Edward Stevenson, chief executive officer, will continue to hold the majority of G24i’s share capital.
Andrés Rubio, head of MSPI Europe, said: “We are looking forward to working with G24i to further develop the company’s business and create additional growth opportunities. This investment is a milestone for MSPI as it is our first investment in the European solar energy space and highlights Morgan Stanley’s ongoing commitment to the renewable energy sector.”
Mr Hertzberg said: “We are very pleased with the investment by MSPI which enhances G24i’s investor base and creates new opportunities through access to Morgan Stanley’s global network. MSPI is the ideal new partner to help G24i reach its growth objectives.”
The announcement comes after the launch of G24i’s first product, a solar powered mobile phone charger, at the end of 2007. The business is now looking to expand and capitalise on its recent growth. Its latest innovation, a solar powered LED (light emitting diode) light, was awarded a $200,000 Lighting Africa: Development Marketplace grant by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation in May and is expected to be released later this year.
G24i is the first to commercially manufacture next generation dye-sensitised thin film solar cells, an alternative to traditional silicon solar cells. Dye-sensitised thin film solar cells are unique in that they are extremely lightweight, durable, and produce electricity in low-light and indoor conditions.
As a result, G24i’s advanced solar cells are perfect for powering mobile electronic devices such as mobile telephones, cameras, and portable LED lighting systems. On a larger scale, G24i’s flexible thin film integrates effectively into clothing, tents, electronic advertising displays, and works well for indoor building integrated photovoltaic systems where local regulation requires on site generation or significant energy efficiency measures.