Active Surfaces Secures $5.6M in Oversubscribed Pre-Seed Funding to Revolutionize Solar Technology

May 13, 2024

WOBURN, Mass.May 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Active Surfaces, an innovative flexible solar panel startup spun out from MIT, announced today it has raised $5.6 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Safar Partners, a prominent deep tech venture capital fund. Additional participants—including QVT, Lendlease, Type One Ventures, Umami Capital, Sabanci Climate Ventures, New Climate Ventures, SeaX Ventures, and others—reflect a diverse support base ranging from institutional VCs to corporate backers

Active Surfaces is pioneering the next generation of solar technology with its lightweight, flexible solar panels that can be integrated into virtually any surface. Unlike bulky traditional solar panels, Active Surfaces’ technologies will seamlessly blend into everyday environments, from small consumer products that can go anywhere to large commercial, office, and industrial buildings.

“Active Surfaces is pioneering a transformation in the built environment,” said Tommaso Boralevi, Technology & Innovation Director Europe at the Milan Innovation District (MIND) established by Lendlease, a global construction, development, and investment company. “At Lendlease, we are committed to advancing sustainable urbanization, and our investment in Active Surfaces represents a significant step towards integrating novel capabilities directly into the fabric of future developments.”

“We are thrilled to see such strong support from our investors,” said Richard Swartwout, an MIT PhD and co-founder and CTO of Active Surfaces. “This funding will enable us to expand our R&D efforts, scale up production, and bring our cutting-edge solar solutions to market more rapidly.”

Swartwout said the company’s flexible, thin film “solar 2.0” technologies will deliver dramatically higher efficiency, lower costs, and greater versatility than today’s heavy, rigid solar panels. With its initial funding, Active Surfaces will scale its laboratory-fabricated 4-by-4-inch photovoltaic devices with breakthroughs in industrial roll-to-roll semiconductor printing technologies enabling mass production of thin, flexible solar materials of any size.

The company has been bolstered by recent additions to its team, including Jeremiah Mwaura, a PhD in Materials/Chemistry with more than a decade of experience in advanced roll-to-roll manufacturing, as well as skilled scientists and engineers from leading institutions such as Stanford UniversityRice UniversityUniversity of Pittsburgh, and MIT.

Active Surfaces participates in the Go Build startup accelerator program with Saint Gobain through Greentown Labs and is supported by premier climate tech incubators such as Third Derivative, ACCEL, Swissnex Climate Collider, Cleantech Open, and Venture for ClimateTech. Additionally, Active Surfaces co-founder Shiv Bhakta, MIT MS/MBA, was recently featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 2024 in Energy. And advisor Moungi Bawendi, Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry at MIT, was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2023.

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