Saving energy is a pretty hot topic these days, especially when it comes to getting the country off of its dependency on foreign oil. Most of what we hear has to do with more drilling, nuclear power, wind or solar energy, but it all seems to be mostly talk at this point. What if there were a real energy saving technology out there that was not just a theory, and would not be harmful to the planet?
Energy conversion company Transphorm has raised a $35 million Series E, the company announced Monday.
The round was led by led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Nihon Inter Electronics Company (NIEC), with participation from existing venture investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Quantum Strategic Partners, Lux Capital, and Bright Capital.
The INJC is a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and 27 major corporations, including Sharp, Sumitomo Electric, Toshiba and General Electric Company, Japan. INCJ has the capacity to invest up to ￥2 trillion (approximately US$25 billion).
This latest round of fundraising brings the total amount raised by Transphorm to $104 million.
In addition, Transphorm also announced that it has entered into a partnership with Nihon Inter Electronics, with the goal of facilitating the mass production of Transphorm’s next-generation GaN (Gallium nitride) power devices. GaN devices are meant to reduce energy loss and costs for business and consumers.
Transphorm was the first company to commercialize a high voltage GaN, and the first to successfully deliver a 600 volt GaN product.
So how does GaN work? Vator’s Faith Merino described it this way in a previous article:
“Electrical power conversion works through rapidly switching circuits, and Transphorm breaks from tradition by using a new material, Gallium Nitride (GaN), which switches at a significantly higher frequency than traditional materials. The use of GaN, combined with the company's circuit design, enables Transphorm to save the hundreds of terawatts of energy typically lost in the traditional conversion process. And Transphorm's solution has the potential to produce cost savings and energy conservation across the grid, on everything from HVACs, hybrids, solar panels, and computer servers.”
“The alliance will help bring the long-awaited practical realization, commercialization and mass production of state-of-the-art GaN power conversion solutions,” Transphorm wrote.
“The investment from INCJ substantiates GaN as the next generation energy efficiency technology,” Umesh Mishra, CEO of Transphorm, said in a statement.
“The need for energy efficiency remains paramount even as the sources of energy change. Today’s strategic financing, coupled with the earlier investments, enables scaling of this disruptive technology and helps eliminate energy waste in multiple markets from servers to solar panels, from HVACs to hybrids.”
Goleta, California-based Transphorm was founded in 2007. The company emerged from stealth mode in February 2011, when it announced a $20 million in a Series C round led by Google Ventures, with help from existing venture investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, and Lux Capital.
(Image source: http://www.transphormusa.com/)