NEXT Energy Technologies Closes New C Funding; Viracon Among Lead Investors

NEXT Energy Technologies Inc., makers of a proprietary transparent photovoltaic coating designed to transform commercial windows into energy-producing solar panels, announced it has raised $13.4 million in a Series C round of funding. Series C financing is typically the last stage of venture capital financing in the capital-raising process by a startup.

Viracon, an architectural glass fabricator and subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, is among those lead investors. Others include Alon Blue Square Israel, a group with major business activities and holdings across the real estate development and management market as well as energy, retail and public transportation sectors, predominantly in Israel; GEAR Innovation Network, the innovation arm of Golden Energy and Resources Ltd., one of the largest vertically-integrated mining, energy and resources groups in Southeast Asia and a part of the Sinar Mas Group; and the real estate family office Rincon Advisors.

“Workplaces of the future must evolve into safer, healthier and more climate-compliant spaces,” said Daniel Emmett, CEO of NEXT. “As we emerge from COVID-19, workers returning to their offices are actively re-evaluating the role offices and buildings play in their lives; and architects, developers and employers are listening.”

NEXT has developed low-cost, printable, transparent coatings it says are seamlessly integrated into windows, enabling them to function like solar panels—harvesting and converting sunlight into renewable energy to power commercial buildings.

According to the company, proceeds from this financing round have accelerated the transition to large-area coating for commercialization, pilot installations, durability testing, and industry certification in preparation for use by window manufacturers.

Windows Part of National Campaign to Modernize Structures

In May, the White House announced new programs through the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Government Service Agency that will invest federal money in projects that aim to make buildings affordable, resilient, and energy efficient. Included in the programs is the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity, the E3 Initiative, which includes efforts to promote the widespread use of highly efficient windows and window attachments that improve comfort and reduce building energy use. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which establishes objective window, door, and skylight energy-performance ratings, is supporting the national campaign.

As the official certification body for EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program for fenestration, NFRC-rated products ensure homeowners and building occupants that the window has been tested and rated to perform as specified. The nonprofit organization also operates the Efficient Windows Collaborative, which provides consumers with information and online
resources so they can select the right windows for their homes through the Window Selection Tool. All windows in the Window Selection Tool are NFRC rated.

“Energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights in homes and offices make buildings more comfortable for its inhabitants, save money on heating and cooling costs, and reduce carbon emissions for communities,” said NFRC CEO Deb Callahan. “For more than 30 years, NFRC has been rating energy performance and working in tandem with the fenestration industry to create innovative, more efficient products and see firsthand the market demand. Through this initiative, the Efficient Windows Collaborative and NFRC will showcase the essential role fenestration plays for buildings to become efficient, save energy, and reduce their environmental impact.”

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