Financing led by the MaRS Cleantech Fund
KINGSTON and TORONTO, ON, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Sparq Systems Inc., a
developer of advanced photovoltaic (PV) microinverters, announced today
that it has raised $2.75 million from three Ontario cleantech venture
capital firms. The financing was led by the MaRS Cleantech Fund, with
participation from the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) and the
Ontario Centres of Excellence.
"2013 has been a transformational year for Sparq," said Randall MacEwen,
Sparq's recently appointed CEO. "We have successfully commercialized
our first generation microinverter with sales in Canada, the United
States and Mexico. With our recent financing, we have strengthened our
management team and are commercializing our next generation
microinverter — a product we believe will reset the industry standard
for cost, reliability, performance, ease of installation and advanced
Sparq designs and manufactures microinverters, which convert power
produced from solar panels into usable grid power for home solar
systems. Sparq's next generation microinverter is expected to be the
lowest cost, most reliable and most advanced microinverter in the
"We are excited to support Sparq as it develops and launches its next
generation microinverter and starts to scale its business. Sparq has an
innovative microinverter design that enables lower product cost and
higher reliability," said Murray McCaig, co-managing director of the
MaRS Cleantech Fund and recently appointed board member of Sparq.
McCaig noted that the market for module-level power electronics has
expanded at a compound annual growth rate of ~1,500% from 2009 to 2012.
Global PV microinverter shipments are forecast to increase to 2.1 GW in
2017, up from ~500 MW in 2013.
"We are thrilled with the quality of our new investor partners," said
Dr. Praveen Jain, Sparq's founder and chairman of its board of
directors. We appreciate their confidence in our business model,
management team, technology and market opportunities. We are also
delighted that Randy has joined the Sparq team as our new CEO. He
brings deep solar industry and growth company leadership experience to
Sparq at time when the company is pivoting to growth and commercial
MacEwen added, "Like our new investors, I am excited to join Sparq given
attractive global solar market conditions, Sparq's innovative product
design and cost structure, a capital light business model and strong
initial market reception of the first generation product." Founded in
2009, Sparq is a spin-out of power electronics research performed at
Queen's University by Dr. Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power
Electronics, and his team at ePower Labs, and supported by PARTEQ
Innovations. Sparq has four issued and six pending multi-country
Sparq will be meeting with channel partners at Solar Power International
2013 in Chicago from October 21-24, 2013.
About Sparq Systems
Sparq Systems delivers next-generation microinverters systems for the
fast-growing distributed generation solar market. Our compact
microinverters lower total cost of ownership, improve system
reliability, increase energy production, simplify system design and
installation, reduce fire safety risk and meet requirements for
smart-grid integration. Our next generation microinverters are designed
for easy "plug and play" field installation using industry standard
cables, as well as direct manufacturing integration into an AC module.
Connect with us at www.sparqsys.com.
About the MaRS Cleantech Fund
The MaRS Cleantech Fund (www.marsvf.com) is a private venture fund focused on early-stage cleantech investing.
The Fund will invest in capital-efficient companies with strong
intellectual property, a global market opportunity and experienced
management teams. Portfolio companies will be encouraged to seek
maximum support from MaRS. The fund is managed by two experienced
entrepreneurs: Dr. Tom Rand (@tomrand, website: www.tomrand.net) and Murray McCaig (@murraymccaig).
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto.
MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify
innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada's next
generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup
clients have raised over $750 million in capital, earned over $375
million in revenue and hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge
SOURCE: MaRS Cleantech Fund
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