12 August 2010


Epistar invests in LED planar light source maker Oree

Taiwan’s biggest LED epiwafer and chipmaker Epistar Corp of Hsin-chu Science-based Industrial Park has invested in Oree Inc of Ramat Gan, Israel, which owns patented technology enabling the conversion of LED point sources to a planar, thin and uniform illuminating surface.

Founded in 2006, Oree has developed ‘LightCell’ LED-based planar light sources which — with a modular design — suit the illumination of areas of varying size (e.g. general lighting, decorative and architectural lighting, and backlighting for LCD panels). The technology is said to be able to significantly boost LED lighting system efficiency and dramatically reduce system cost and energy consumption.

Up to now, Oree had raised $16m from Genesis Partners and GIMV, as well as obtaining loans from Silicon Valley Bank and Kreos Capital. According to Israeli publication, Epistar’s strategic investment amounts to $2–3m, forming the first part of a planned financing round of about $15m involving the existing investors.

Epistar says that it is dedicated to partnering with firms that present novel and promising technologies. It has been making chips for Oree since 2007, and the continued collaboration aims to strengthen market penetration in Asia, Europe and the USA for both companies.

“Oree has introduced a game-changing LED technology and brought some great talent to the market,” believes Epistar’s chairman BJ Lee.

“By investing in Oree, Epistar has demonstrated confidence in the significant market potential of our technology,” says Oree’s founder, president & CEO Eran Fine. Oree is currently working with select customers in Asia and Europe, and expects to begin high-volume production early next year. “This funding will help us meet our high-volume production goals, as well as expand our global reach,” Fine adds.

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