3 August 2011

Bridgelux raises $60m in equity financing round led by Craton

LED chip and lighting array maker Bridgelux Inc of Livermore, CA, USA (which claims to be the only vertically integrated maker of LED solid-state light sources specifically for the lighting industry) has raised $60m in a Series E financing round led by Los Angeles-based Craton Equity Partners (Southern California’s largest clean-tech private equity fund) and joined by existing financial and strategic investors including VantagePoint Capital Partners, DCM, El Dorado Ventures, Novus Energy Partners, Invus Group, VTS, Harris & Harris Group, and Passport Capital. Previously, in late January, Bridgelux announced raising $20.74m of the $60m round.

Bridgelux has now raised total venture capital of about $180m, including $2.5m in angel funding in 2002, $8.55m in May 2005, $23m in August 2007, and $80m in Series D financing, including $30m (plus a $10m line of credit from investors) in a first tranche in April 2008 — used to develop new products (some of which were rolled out in 2009) — and an extra $50m in January 2010. 

After originally focusing on designing and making its power LED chips based on ITO/InGaN (indium tin oxide/indium gallium nitride), Bridgelux launched its first LED array product line in January 2009, followed that May by a Lighting Services Group to offer a range of solid-state lighting design and support services, and in March 2010 by the ‘plug-and-play’ Helieon Sustainable Light Module (jointly developed with Molex Inc of Lisle, IL, USA) for industrial and commercial building owners. In May 2011, Bridgelux launched the third generation of its LED Arrays.

Bridgelux says that it will use the new funding to extend its position in the solid-state lighting market by accelerating R&D in key areas of strategic focus, including GaN-on-silicon development and LED chip-on-board architecture.  

“At Craton we continually strive to support standout sector leaders, like Bridgelux, that are positioned to address today’s global clean energy challenges through the application of new technologies to massive markets,” says Craton managing partner Kevin Wall. Craton Equity Partners’ principal David Asarnow will join the Bridgelux board as an observer.

“Craton Equity Partners is a top growth-stage investor in clean tech, and we welcome their support as we work to expand the market for solid-state solutions for general lighting — which we expect to triple this year to over $3bn,” says Bridgelux’s CEO Bill Watkins. “This additional capital will accelerate our breakthrough development efforts in producing commercial-grade LEDs on silicon and in creating new packaging solutions for our LED chips,” he adds. “We think our proprietary innovation in both of these areas is critical to driving market adoption.” 

See related items:

LED firm Bridgelux raises a further $21m

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

Bridgelux closes $40m series D funding round

BridgeLux raises $23m in third-round financing

Tags: Bridgelux LEDs

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Visit: www.bridgelux.com

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