Company Raised $13M from Leading US and European Investors in 2012
GRENOBLE, France & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aledia, a developer of LEDs based on disruptive microwire GaN-on-Silicon technology, announced today that it has made its first LEDs on 8-inch (200mm) silicon wafers. The cost of Aledia’s LED 3D chips based on microwires is expected to be four times less than traditional planar (2D) LEDs. Additionally, Aledia announced its first-round financing totalling €10 million (approximately $13M) with leading US and European investors, which was closed in 2012.
“Since our financing last year, we have scaled up our microwire manufacturing process and transferred it to 8-inch (200mm) silicon wafers. We can now push forward to optimize the performance of these products and bring them to market”
Aledia solves the important cost issue in the very large and growing LED market. The continued integration of LEDs into new applications, such as general lighting, depends on LEDs becoming available at substantially lower prices than today. Aledia’s microwire technology enables the steep cost reduction that is vital for the further transition to LED. The Aledia LED technology, made on large-size silicon wafers and with very low materials cost, represents a cost-disruptive solution to this problem. Furthermore the new LED technology is compatible with silicon CMOS technology and will be manufactured directly in existing high-volume silicon foundries.
“Since our financing last year, we have scaled up our microwire manufacturing process and transferred it to 8-inch (200mm) silicon wafers. We can now push forward to optimize the performance of these products and bring them to market,” indicated Giorgio Anania, Aledia co-founder, President and CEO.
Investors in Aledia’s first-round financing included Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital fund and an active investor in energy; New-York based Braemar Energy Ventures, a leading US energy technology investor with various investments in the LED and illumination area; Demeter Partners, the largest France-based cleantech investor; and CEA Investissement, the venture capital arm of CEA, France’s Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives.
“This is an innovative technology that can have a disruptive effect on the LED market,” said Jiong Ma, partner at Braemar Energy Ventures. “Braemar is committed to investing in companies like Aledia that have developed a breakthrough approach to LED lighting to accommodate a rapidly changing market. We are excited about the future opportunities this investment will bring and the expansion of Aledia’s market presence and product offerings.”
“We are proud to participate in the new venture of Giorgio Anania, a successful entrepreneur already well known to Sofinnova, and of an outstanding technical team, that could revolutionize the large and growing LED market, both in cost and performance,” added Alessio Beverina of Sofinnova Partners.
“We believe that the development of LED lighting is an important element of energy-efficiency in our economies – lighting representing approximately 20% of all electricity usage. A technology able to make a significant breakthrough in the cost-effectiveness of using LEDs and thereby accelerate their adoption will have a major environmental and financial impact,” concluded Sophie Paturle, partner at cleantech specialist Demeter Partners.
The 3D GaN-on-Silicon microwire technology was developed over a six year period at the LETI-CEA in Grenoble, France. As part of its spin-out from CEA, Aledia received exclusive worldwide rights to all present and future CEA patents on microwire technology as applied to the area of lighting. Several additional patents have already been filed directly by Aledia.
Giorgio Anania, the company’s cofounder, Chairman and CEO, is well-known in the semiconductor and telecom world. He was previously CEO of Bookham (now Oclaro), the second-largest manufacturer of optical components for telecommunications networks, which he joined when it had 30 people and zero sales. He left the company nine years later, having brought it to $250M in sales, 2700 in staff, and public offerings on both the LSE and NASDAQ. At Aledia, he is joined by Xavier Hugon, COO, and Philippe Gilet, CTO, both cofounders of Aledia and previous CEA employees.
About Braemar Energy Ventures
Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital fund making early- to mid-stage investments in the energy technology sector. The firm’s principals have invested in more than 60 companies in the sector and have more than 100 years of combined technical, operational and financial experience in energy and energy-related industries. Braemar partners with exceptional companies and management teams, in both alternative and traditional energy markets, which can contribute to a more profitable and efficient energy landscape through innovation and marketplace expertise. Additional information is available at www.braemarenergy.com.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, one of the largest European VC firms in Europe, with over €1.3 Billion under management. Over the past 40 years, the firm has financed and accompanied almost 500 companies. Sofinnova invest in start-ups, early-stage companies, corporate spin-offs and occasionally turnaround situations. Sofinnova invest in Life Sciences and in Clean Energy, and invest throughout Europe from their headquarters in Paris with a portion of investments made in the rest of the world. Additional information is available at sofinnova.social-unit.fr.
About Demeter Partners
Demeter Partners is one of the pioneers and leading investment capital firm in Europe for Cleantech with more than 350 M€ under management. Based in Paris, with offices in Berlin and Madrid , Demeter Partners is an independent company founded in 2005 and specializes in eco-industries (water, air and waste treatment, site remediation,) and eco-energies (energy efficiency, renewable energies) mostly for companies located in France, Germany and Spain. Demeter Partners has invested in more than 40 companies from innovating start-ups to mid-cap companies and supports them at all stages : creation, growth, transfer, with unitary mandates ranging from 0.5 to 15 M€.
Additional information is available at www.demeter-partners.com.
About CEA Investissement
CEA Investissement is a venture capital firm owned by CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, the French state-owned Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission) and specialized in seed investing in technology companies. It is a leader in the creation of companies spun out of research done in French government labs. CEA Investissement has financed over 50 startups since 1999 and is very active in diverse high-technology sectors such as microelectronics, life sciences, energy and new materials. Additional information is available at www.cea-investissement.com.