18 February 2021
Cambridge GaN Devices raises $9.5m Series A funding
Fabless semiconductor company Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD) has raised $9.5m in a Series A round of funding co-led by IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors and BGF, and including investment from Foresight Williams, Cambridge Enterprise, Martlet Capital, Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Capital Group. The new funding will be used by CGD to expand its product portfolio of energy-efficient power devices and to double the size of its team.
CGD was spun out of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering’s Electrical Power and Energy Conversion group in 2016 by chief executive officer Dr Giorgia Longobardi and chief technology officer Florin Udrea in order to develop power semiconductors using gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon substrates. The company’s core business is to design, develop and commercialize power transistors and integrated circuits.
CGD is developing a range of GaN transistors that are customized for key applications in market segments such as consumer and industrial switch-mode power supply (SMPS), lighting, data centers and automotive hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs/EVs). The firm says that the higher efficiency of its devices, combined with the unique ease-of-use introduced by its proprietary IP, will allow CGD GaN to replace silicon in those key applications, while enabling more compact power systems and better use of energy resources.
The company is the result of decades of research in power devices and GaN reliability carried out with leading organizations in the field, and through several partnerships and collaborations. CGD is currently leading the $10m European-funded project ‘GaNext’ with 13 industrial and academic partners across Europe, developing GaN-based modules for low- and high-power applications.
The investors were advised by Mills&Reeve, a law firm specializing in growing tech businesses. CGD was advised by Taylor Vinters, a legal and advisory business for the innovation economy.
“This latest round of investment is a great recognition of our success to date, with new and existing investors confirming the strength of our technology,” says Longobardi. “Since 2016, CGD has grown significantly and we are thrilled to be in a position to deliver several products to market, following decades of industry-leading research in reliability of power devices. This investment will allow us to supplement our experienced team with additional experts and expand our markets globally, creating more sustainable electronics worldwide,” she adds.
“Our close collaboration with CGD has been an incredibly rewarding win-win experience,” comments Eric Stodel, CEO at Neways, an EMS System Innovator and Lifecycle Partner in the GaNext project. “It enables us to develop an extremely compact solar inverter based on the GaN technology,” he adds.
“We are proud to support the CGD team as they build on their core technology, from a strong base of academic research and IP, to create the world’s best GaN power devices for a wide range of applications,” says IQ Capital managing partner Ed Stacey. “This highly experienced team has incredible potential to disrupt the electronics industry with new devices that will unlock commercial and environmental gains for suppliers and customers.”