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Transphorm to reduce waste with $25 million grant

The new financing will enable the firm to continue reducing power wastage with its gallium nitride power devices.

Transphorm, a company which hopes to redefine energy efficiency with the most efficient and compact power conversion technology, has completed a $25 million Series D financing round with Quantum Strategic Partners.

This is a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management LLC, and existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital. This brings the total capital raised from all rounds to $63 million.

Transphorm will use the funding to continue solving the multi-billion dollar power waste problem, which occurs whenever electricity from the grid is converted into usable electric power. Since the company launch in February 2011, Transphorm has successfully released what it says is the first complete solution to eliminating power waste, using its GaN based power conversion modules.

“This investment from our top-tier investor partners is a testament to the achievements of the Transphorm team commercialising a Total GaN solution for next-generation power conversion,” said Umesh Mishra, CEO of Transphorm. “Transphorm is sparking a revolution in energy efficiency, paving the way for the mass production of consumer, commercial and industrial technology products designed for optimum electrical efficiency.”

Transphorm’s Total GaN solution reduces power waste by 90 % and simplifies 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. In recent months Transphorm has increased its customer set by 50 % and expanded its operations by 30 % to accommodate demand.

“Transphorm will use the new funding to continue our expansion and scale up to meet growing customer demand for our products,” said Primit Parikh, President of Transphorm. “The Series D financing enables us to grow our facilities, accelerate product development, and deepen engagement with customers. Above all, it allows us to execute rapidly on our customers’ roadmaps.”

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 United States 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, normally-off GaN switches while moving their GaN platform to low-cost silicon substrates.

“Through ARPA-E funding, innovation in next generation power electronics has put the U.S. in a leadership position with GaN-on-Si and motor control,” said 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.”

At the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) in March 2011, Transphorm launched its first product: a power diode based on its patented, high-performance EZ GaN technology.

To demonstrate the performance advantage of its patented GaN based technology, Transphorm showcased at the APEC exhibition a Total GaN based, DC-to-DC Boost Converter running at more than 99 % efficiency. Shortly thereafter at the PCIM Europe Conference in May 2011, Transphorm unveiled its 600 V EZ-GaN transistor, which displaces silicon-based power conversion technology and reduces switching losses by up to 95 %.

At the PCIM, Transphorm also demonstrated a 100 KHz 3-phase 2 kW inverter, showing the highest efficiency in its class. Transphorm says it is currently the only company offering a Total GaN solution for highly compact and efficient electric power conversion.
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