Lex Hoefsloot (right), © Lightyear
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Lightyear has secured a strategic investment from two South Korean venture capital funds, Sunbo Angel Partners and Lighthouse Combined Investment. Both funds, with ties to South Korea’s automotive industry and other manufacturing corporate alliances, “have recognized Lightyear’s potential to create the next era of highly efficient solar vehicle technology”, a press release by Lightyear says. The investment amount was not disclosed but is expected to be more than 3 million euros.

  • Helmond-based Lightyear has found two new investors from South Korea.
  • The car company recently shifted its focus from building electric solar cars to producing solar roofs.

“We are excited to welcome Sunbo Angel Partners and Lighthouse as strategic investors,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “Our relationship began early this year at the CES in Las Vegas, and our interactions in the Netherlands and South Korea have facilitated a deeper relationship. As their limited partners represent multiple automotive suppliers, this step also broadens our access within the strong South Korean automotive sector.”

Last October, Lightyear shifted its focus to producing solar panels to be integrated into electric cars. The production of solar cars – Lightyear’s initial goal – was moved to the background. At its factory in Venray, it is currently producing the first test series of solar panels for solar roofs of various car brands.

Strategic investment

“We are excited to join forces with Lightyear and witness the remarkable synergies that arise from this collaboration. We strongly believe in the value that Lightyear brings in these crucial times and its power to steer the market towards efficient solar electric vehicles, ” says Youngchan Choi, CEO of Sunbo Angel Partners. Through this investment, Lightyear will gain access to Sunbo Angel Partners’ and Lighthouse’s robust ecosystem. This includes next-generation technologies in solar energy, electric motors, and advanced manufacturing capabilities from their portfolio companies. Established in 2016, Sunbo Angel Partners has invested in over 120 technology start-ups internationally in sectors such as green energy, clean mobility, sustainability, and space tech.

South Korea

“South Korean automakers are renowned for being early adopters of groundbreaking technologies”, states Dr. Bernd Martens, a former member of the board of management at Audi AG and advisor to the company. “With their large footprint in the industry, they significantly influence what vehicles of the future can and will look like. Therefore, this investment is an exciting step to strengthen Lightyear’s commercial pipeline and supply chain, offering opportunities for further synergies on a technology level.”