Australian clean energy innovator 5B has revealed plans to embark on a new fundraising round, as orders boom for its modular, rapid-deploying solar solution, called Maverick.
The NSW-based company is to seek between $30 million and $50 million to further accelerate its technology development roadmap and boost international growth.
This would include building out 5B’s ecosystem supply chain and deployment partners, beefing up its advanced manufacturing and automation capabilities, and training partners on how to use its product, the company said.
The fund-raising round follows a financial year when 5B’s order is believed to have grown by more than 500%, year-on-year, from a base of 50-plus customers across five countries, while also raising $A25 million and expanding from 30 to more than 130 staff.
The company’s recent ‘pre-series B’ capital raise notched up $12 million from both existing investors, including Artesian Venture Capital, and new investors, including former PM Malcolm Turnbull, leading energy analyst Simon Holmes à Court and Beyond Zero Emissions chair Eytan Lenko.
For the Series B round, 5B said it was anticipating continued support from AES Corporation and Artesian and, beyond that, would extend the opportunity to a select group of strategically aligned investors
5B’s pre-fabricated, modular plug-and-play design of the Maverick system allows for the rapid installation of large-scale solar projects.
The company undertook its first international project in partnership with AES Panamá, which installed 2MW of solar panels in just 10 working days.
In Australia, 5B supplied last year supplied solar modules to SA Water’s 12MW Happy Valley Reservoir project, reaching a peak deployment rate of 3MW per week.
Perhaps most notably, however, the company’s technology has been earmarked to supply solar panels to the massive 10GW Sun Cable project in the Northern Territory, itself backed by tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.
In emailed comments to RenewEconomy on Tuesday, 5B said that faster and cheaper solar deployment was an area in which the global renewable sector was desperately trying to reduce costs while massively scaling up, making it the next battle front in the renewables race alongside a focus on increased safety for ground crews.