Solyndra raises nearly $220M

Solyndra has raised $219.2 million in a Series E financing from 23 investors, according to a regulatory filing, making it the second largest U.S. cleantech financing in 2008.

It isn’t clear if the new financing is in addition to the $600 million that the company said it had raised in October. Solyndra declined to clarify.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company makes copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar power installations. Its latest financing round is smaller than the $300 million raised by CIGS manufacturer Nanosolar, but larger than the $200 million financings reported for Miasolé and SoloPower earlier this year.

The financing includes $96.6 million in “working capital” and $122.2 million for the “conversion of convertible promissory notes into Series E preferred stock,” according to the filing. Financiers in the deal included Argonaut Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, according to the filing.

Those numbers seem to fit information from news reports from the summer that said the company was raising $350 million. Cleantech news website Greentech Media reported at that time that Goldman Sachs was trying to sell $120 million in convertible securities to Solyndra’s existing investors at a 20% discount and was trying to sell another $230 million to new investors. The website cited documents and anonymous sources.

Mike Grunow, senior director of marketing at Solyndra, said he could not discuss the company’s financing. Anup Jacob, a partner at Richard Branson’s Virgin Green Fund, which invested in a previous round for Solyndra, declined to comment. Winston Fu, a general partner at U.S. Venture Partners, could not be immediately reached for comment.

In October, Solyndra confirmed reports it had raised $600 million from investors, including Artis Capital Management, Masdar, RockPort Capital, Madrone Capital Partners and the Virgin Green Fund.

It declined to discuss details of the financing at the time and will not say if the new $219 million financing was counted in that $600 million figure. When the money was raised, how many rounds of financing that encompassed, or even if that fund-raising was ongoing still remain unanswered. But a public relations executive hired by the company said the money was all equity financing.

An earlier SEC filing says the company raised $119 million in August from 12 investors for a bridge financing. Of that, $31.7 million went to “working capital” and another $87.2 million went to the “repayment of indebtedness.” It is unclear how that financing may be related to the company’s December SEC filing.