5B’s modular expansion plans boosted by bigwig investment


Sydney-based pre-fabricated solar array manufacturer 5B has announced the successful completion of its $12 million Pre-Series B funding round. The round, launched late last year by the developer of the Maverick rapidly deployable modular solar solution, was designed to drive 5B’s global expansion plans. 5B said the round finished in April 2021, “fully funded and over subscribed.” 

The round also saw some bigwigs throw their support behind the company, including Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Smart Energy Council Director, Simon Holmes à Court. 

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre) touring Barcaldine Solar Farm in 2017.

Image: Malcolm Turnbull / Facebook

5B said in a statement that existing investors were the dominant form of support however, particularly U.S. utility giant AES Corporation, which contributed $12 million in 5B’s first series of fundraising, as well as alternate investment fund Artesian Venture Capital, and Startmate & Eytan Lenko (Beyond Zero Emissions Chairperson). 

These investors from 5B’s Series A fundraising effort in mid-2020 were no doubt encouraged by the company’s progress, including a 2 MW contribution to AES Panamá’s as part of the Central American subsidiary’s plans for four solar farms with a combined capacity of 40 MW. 5B, which has signed a 100 MW global services and supply agreement with AES, deployed the 2 MW installment in 10 working days. 

Moreover, there is 5B’s first 10 MW+ project which it delivered with Enerven for SA Water, as well as another 12 MW project in Adelaide. And, of course, 5B has long been the preferred technology for Sun Cable’s 10 GW solar project in the Northern Territory. 

5B CEO and Co-founder, Chris McGrath, said in a statement that “We are at the cusp of what will arguably be the next industrial revolution for the world, driven by ultra low-cost, massively abundant clean energy from solar PV. The only remaining question is not, if, but how quickly, we will achieve this.” The support of investors, McGrath continued, enables 5B “to keep running as hard and fast as we all need to be together to realise this future.” 

Noted renewable energy advocate, former Australian Prime Minister, and relatively new Chairman of Australian Fortescue Future Industries, Malcolm Turnbull, said that 5B “is one of the most innovative Australian clean energy companies. Their Maverick technology is the keystone to unlocking the next generation of clean energy at the scale required to urgently address climate change.” 

5B said that the Pre-Series B funding would go toward building its already 100+ strong team, as well as a clean energy campus at its Sydney-headquarters, and to accelerate the release of its next generation of Maverick products. What is more, 5B is keen to accelerate its global expansion too, particularly to the U.S., Chile and India. 

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