Solar tech startup Ambient Photonics announced it has raised $31 million in a Series A financing led by Amazon, through its Climate Pledge fund and environmental sustainability-focused early-stage investor Ecosystem Integrity Fund. The financing will be used to build the world’s largest U.S.-based low light solar cell production facility, enabling Ambient to scale its solar cells for mass-market adoption.

Founded in 2019, Ambient produces low-cost, high-density solar cells that can harvest energy across a broad spectrum of ambient light. The company’s low light energy harvesting photovoltaic (PV) technology generates more than three times the power of traditional indoor PV technologies, collecting energy from both artificial and natural light.

The technology can be used to help eliminate disposable batteries or reduce rechargeable battery mass from IoT and smart home devices, reducing landfill waste and cutting the carbon footprint of the devices by up to 80%.

Bates Marshall, Ambient CEO, said:

“The future of IoT and connected devices is energy harvesting, and that future requires massive scale. This financing empowers us to deliver our industry leading technology to some of the world’s highest volume IoT device manufacturers with significant decarbonization impact. We’re opening up entirely new possibilities for products that are designed from the ground up from more sustainable energy sources.”

Amazon’s Climate Pledge fund is a venture investment program aimed at backing visionary companies developing products and services that facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy. The $2 billion fund was established in June 2020, aiming to help Amazon and other companies achieve the goals outlined in The Climate Pledge, including reaching net zero carbon by 2040.

Matt Peterson, Director of The Climate Pledge Fund at Amazon, said:

“Disposable batteries are both a consumer inconvenience and a significant environmental problem. We are excited that through The Climate Pledge Fund we will invest in Ambient to help in their path toward creating innovative solutions to decrease the carbon footprint of battery-operated devices across industries.”

Additional investors in the financing included Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and I Squared Capital.