Advanced materials startup Sol Voltaics has reported a $17 million round of equity investment and grant funding to accelerate commercialization of its nanowire solar film tandem-layer technology. The Series C funding round was led by new investor Riyadh Valley Co., the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Long-term investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden, and Nano Future Invest contributed to $12.5 million in equity investment. In addition, the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program backed the company with over $4.5 million in additional grants. Sol Voltaics recently announced a major technological breakthrough with the successful alignment of gallium-arsenide nanowires in a thin film. When integrated in a tandem-junction architecture on mainstream crystalline silicon panels, Sol Voltaics’ said the Aerotaxy nanowire thin-film process will enable photovoltaic module efficiencies of greater than 27 percent, which the company said is a 50 percent enhancement in energy generation compared to commercially available solar panels.