Solar Power company BrightSource Energy has raised $30 million. Among the new investors is the Russian government venture capital fund, which invested $10 million, an international venture capital fund and two unnamed private strategic investors.
This brings to $300 million the funds the company has raised since it was founded four years ago. It recently received an endorsement from US President Barack Obama.
BrightSource Energy is the parent company of BrightSource Industries (headquartered in Jerusalem), formerly Luz II, which was set up to promote activities in the US.
The company is also apparently in the preliminary stages of preparing for a Nasdaq IPO. The Dow Jones recently reported that BrightSource had hired the services of investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
In late September, BrightSource Energy chief operating officer and BrightSource Industries (Israel) CEO Israel Kroizer told Israel’s financial daily Globes, “I cannot comment on the subject of an IPO.”
However, regarding the increase in funds raised, he told the daily, “In advance we went out to raise $150-200 million. In May, we announced the completion of raising $150 million and we recently added additional investors in the present funding round and raised it.”
BrightSource was founded by solar energy pioneer Arnold Goldman, the former founder and CEO of Israeli company Luz International, one of the world’s first solar energy companies.
In the last two years, BrightSource, which has a solar energy development center in Israel’s Negev Desert, has signed the two largest solar power agreements in the world – to produce 1,300 megawatts for Southern California Edison, and 1,310 megawatts for Pacific Gas & Electric Company.