Livermore, California-based Bridgelux (News - Alert), Inc., a manufacturer of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting solutions for general illumination purposes — including street lighting, and commercial and consumer applications — has raised about $100 million in investment capital during the past 12 months.
On February 13, the private company, which was founded in 2002, announced that Xiamen, China-based Kaistar Lighting (Xiamen) Co., Ltd., had agreed to invest $25 million to enable Bridgelux to accelerate R&D, as well as production of LED chip and packaging technology. Kaistar is a joint venture of the Taiwan-based LED chip and wafer maker Epistar Corp. and theShenzhen, China-based contract manufacturer Shenzhen Kaifa Technology Co.
Bridgelux product family.
In early August, Craton Equity Partners, a Los Angeles-based clean-tech private equity fund, led a $60 million round in Series E financing for Bridgelux. Existing financial and strategic investors — including VantagePoint Capital Partners, DCM (News - Alert), El Dorado Ventures, Novus Energy Partners, Invus Group, VTS, Harris and Harris Group, and Passport Capital, among others — added $15 million in funding in October.
According to LEDS Magazine, Bridgelux planned to use the Series E funds to optimize a gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) manufacturing process that the company claims can lower LED costs. Bridgelux announced that it “anticipates the delivery of its first commercially-available GaN-on-Si products over the course of the next two to three years.”
At year-end 2011, Bridgelux reported that market conditions and its recent achievements ideally positioned it for additional growth and leadership in 2012. The company’s revenue grew an extraordinary 792 percent from FY 2006 to FY 2010 — and Bridgelux expected to see an additional 100 percent year-over-year growth for FY 2011.
“The market for solid state lighting is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2011 to more than $25 billion in 2015,” said Bridgelux’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Watkins, “This investment marks the beginning of our cooperation with Kaistar to lead the transition to solid state lighting. Kaistar’s cost-competitive manufacturing capabilities combined with Bridgelux’s high performance packaging solutions will continue to drive down the cost of solid state technology for general lighting, helping to more rapidly expand the market for LED.”
“Going forward, “Watkins added, “Bridgelux is extremely well-positioned to meet rising demand: We’re well-funded, have some of the industry’s most innovative technologies and product designs, and have established strong strategic partnerships.”
In 2011, Bridgelux was named to Forbes magazine’s prestigious list of America’s Most Promising Companies. Bridgelux was ranked 58thon the list of 100 privately-held companies selected from 22 industries for its innovative business models and strong management team.
In addition, last year, Bridgelux was named to the Global Cleantech 100, ranked number 135 on Deloittte’s 2011 Technology Fast 500 list; and was chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the GoingGreen Global 200 winners.Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves