19 January 2010


Bridgelux to open new manufacturing & HQ complex in April–May

Bridgelux Inc, which claims to be the only vertically integrated maker of LED solid-state light sources specifically for the lighting industry, is to transfer its two San Francisco Bay Area manufacturing operations in Sunnyvale (where it has 100 staff) to one two-building manufacturing and headquarters complex in Livermore. The new facility is being subleased from etch and wafer-cleaning equipment maker Lam Research Corp of Fremont, CA (which earlier abandoned plans to relocate there due to the current downturn), reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Earlier this month Bridgelux raised an extra $50m in its Series D round of financing. The firm closed the first tranche of Series D equity in April 2008 at $30m (making $80m in total), along with a $10m line of credit from investors. That $40m was used to develop new products, some of which were rolled out in 2009. In total, the firm has now raised $113.5m in venture capital, including $23m in August 2007, $8.55m in May 2005, and $2.5m in angel funding in 2002. Bridgelux has also recruited new CEO William D. Watkins (most recently CEO of hard disc drive maker Seagate Technology and board member of Maxim Integrated Products, Flextronics and Vertical Circuits Inc) as part of its plans to scale up manufacturing.

“They were actually looking offshore to expand when this space became available,” says Rob White, Livermore city’s economic development director. “Bridgelux has room to grow at the site [each building is about 120,000 square feet in size]. Many of their employees will relocate here from Sunnyvale,” he adds. “The company's plan calls for an increase to as many as 400–500 jobs over the next five years,” comments assistant city manager Troy Brown.

Bridgelux intends to install manufacturing equipment at the new complex over the next couple of months, White says. The facility should open in April or May.

See related item:

Bridgelux boosts Series D financing round by extra $50m to $80m

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