1 December 2020
LCIF2 invests in Kubos as part of £760,000 round
In its fifth deal as manager of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2), Turquoise (the UK merchant bank specializing in energy, environment and efficiency) is investing in Kubos Semiconductors Ltd of Cambridge, UK as part of a £760,000 round.
Recently shortlisted by the 2020 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology awards as a finalist in the ‘start-up of the year’ category, Kubos was formed in 2017 to develop and commercialize its proprietary cubic GaN intellectual property (IP). The firm has an exclusive license to the technology, which was originally developed in partnership with the Department of Materials at the University of Cambridge and Anvil Semiconductors.
Kubos’ cubic GaN growth technology is reckoned to have the potential to circumvent some of the key limitations in conventional GaN-based LED devices. In particular, the removal of internal electric fields and a narrower bandgap mean that cubic GaN can deliver more efficient green and amber LEDs, overcoming the so-called ‘green gap’ problem (where a significant drop in efficiency is seen in green and amber devices compared with their blue and red counterparts). This can facilitate improved displays and also light bulbs that can be varied to mimic the natural changes in daylight through the day. The main applications are in general lighting, micro-LED displays, automotive, street lighting and digital signage. Kubos plans to license the technology to major LED makers.
“Kubos LED technology will represent a massive improvement in lighting and displays efficiency, significantly reducing energy consumption and accounting for less CO2 emissions,” comments Axel de Mégille, director at Turquoise. “This investment fits very well in the investment strategy of LCIF2 into technologies helping to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs),” he adds.
“This investment will enable us to further our development program to deliver a commercial proof of concept and start engaging with potential customers,” says Kubos’ CEO Caroline O’Brien. “LCIF2 will also enable us to strengthen our links with local and national government”.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, an investment program part financed by the European Union) and with the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the Managing Authority, LCIF2 is a venture capital fund investing in eligible small- to medium-sized businesses based in England, particularly the areas covered by its local government backers, developing products and services that will have a beneficial environmental impact. LCIF2 has received £10.9m (for co-investment alongside private monies) from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.