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06/23/2011 10:47 AM     print story email story  

Transphorm Adds Another Top-Tier Investor for Power Conversion Technology News

Transphorm Inc., a startup company that's developing a break-through technology which reduces energy waste by 90% in electrical systems, added to an already impressive list of investors in a $25 million Series D financing round.

Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd., a private investment fund managed by billionaire George Soros' Soros Fund Management LLC, joined existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Google Ventures, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital.

The latest funding brings the total capital raised from all rounds to $63 million.

Transphorm will use the funding to continue working on solutions to the multi-billion dollar power waste problem - the majority of electricity that moves through the grid is wasted when it's converted into usable electric power.

Transphorm says its Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based power conversion modules reduce power waste by 90%, and simplify the design and manufacturing of a wide variety of electrical systems and devices, including motor drives, power supplies and inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles.

Since the company launched in February 2011, Transphorm claims to have increased its customer base by 50%, and expanded its operations 30% to accommodate demand.

The world's power infrastructure must become radically more efficient to meet the energy and environmental challenges of the future. Inefficient electric power conversion results in lost energy that costs the US economy $40 billion a year and is equivalent to the output of 300 coal plants.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awarded Transphorm $2.95 million to invent "beyond state-of-the-art" GaN switches and to transition its GaN platform to low-cost silicon substrates.

"Through ARPA-E funding, innovation in next generation power electronics has put the US in a leadership position with GaN-on-Si and motor control," says Rajeev Ram, Program Director at ARPA-E. "Efficient electronically controlled motors can save over $13 billion annually in the U.S. with enough energy savings to power 13 million homes."


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