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French 3D LED firm Aledia Completes $31M funding

New investors include Ikea's venture capital arm and automobile-equipment company Valeo

Aledia, a Grenoble-based developer and manufacturer of next-generation 3D LEDs based on its GaN-on-silicon platform, has closed its Series B financing round and the execution of development and supply contracts with major LED buyers.

The round, totalling up to €28.4 million, includes new investments from Valeo, one of the world's largest automobile-equipment manufacturers and the world's second-largest supplier of car lighting systems; Ikea GreenTech AB, the venture capital arm of Ikea; and the Ecotechnologies fund of Bpifrance, the French national industrial bank. 

Aledia's existing international investors - Sofinnova Partners, Braemar Energy Ventures, Demeter Partners and CEAi/ATi - also participated in the round.

Originally developed by CEA-Leti, the company's 3D microwire LED technology (pictured on the right above) is manufactured on large-diameter silicon wafers (200mm or 8-inch) in existing CMOS foundries. Not only do these 3D LEDs  hold the potential to be much less expensive than traditional 2D LEDs, according to Aledia, but they allow for integration of electronics into the LED. The company is also working on next-generation displays.

"This financing round, abundantly oversubscribed, and particularly the presence of two very large potential corporate customers, testifies to the interest that our cost-disruptive nanowire LED technology is generating in the customer base, as well as in the financial community," said Giorgio Anania, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Aledia.

Anania said: "We are progressing with the development of the technology and this financing round will allow us to accelerate significantly the speed of development and the customer traction. In Valeo we have a major potential customer in the automotive LED market, generally viewed as the most profitable market segment. Simultaneously with the investment, we have signed a supply agreement with Valeo."

Maurizio Martinelli, Valeo Visibility Business Group president, said: "We are convinced that Aledia's 3D LED technology, together with Valeo's expertise in automobile lighting systems, has the potential to put on the market a technological breakthrough in innovative lighting systems, perfectly in line with Valeo Lighting System's mission to provide performance and style, and contribute to the safety of road users."

Christian Ehrenborg, managing director of Ikea GreenTech AB, said: "This technology will be one important part in the Ikea Group strategy to supply high-quality, energy-saving lighting products to consumers worldwide. The low-price opportunity for residential use has the potential of faster implementation of the LED technology, leading to savings for customers. The connectivity functions of Aledia's technology also open up new interesting possibilities to make life at home more convenient and smarter."

Anne-Sophie Carrese, investments director at Bpifrance Investissement, said: "Bpifrance congratulates Aledia for its success in this operation. It proposes a breakthrough technology in a growing market and positions itself as a major actor in the smart-lighting industry. Aledia also benefits from its head start to create a French and European sector in LED, among which partnerships with prestigious industrialists such as IKEA and Valeo constitute the first stage."

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