US-based photovoltaic solar company Sunpreme Inc., co-founded by Indian-origin entrepreneur Ashok K. Sinha, has raised $50 million in a fresh round of funding, led by International Finance Corporation (IFC). Existing investors, Silicon Valley-based Capricorn Investment Group and Beijing-based China Environment Fund III, L.P. (managed by Tsing Capital), also took part in this round.

The fund raised will be used to construct a manufacturing facility in Jiaxing, China, the company has said.

Incidentally, Sunpreme’s SmartSilicon concept is positioned as a disruptive solar cell technology that helps deliver high-efficiency solar photovoltaic panels at lower costs. The company is engaged in developing and commercialising SmartSilicon-based solar cells and also focuses on R&D, manufacturing and sales & marketing of photovoltaic cells. The firm is based in Sunnyvale (California), with a facility in Shanghai.

“Our first three US patents for the innovative device structure have been granted and we are now moving to scale production of the SmartSilicon cells at the new Jiaxing facility near Shanghai,” said Sinha, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Sunpreme.

The investments comes even as the industry is facing challenging times with falling prices and bankruptcy of the high profile, heavily funded California venture Solyndra.

“We are cognizant of the current dynamics in the solar industry, which include rapidly declining prices and an oversupply in capacity,” said Dipender Saluja, partner at Capricorn Investment Group. Capricorn, a private investment firm that manages approximately $4 billion of capital, had led the initial funding round and it is currently the largest investor in Sunpreme.

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