Preeminent Japanese firms INCJ & Nihon Inter Electronics lead investment to establish Gallium Nitride (GaN) as industry standard in electric power conversion
TOKYO & GOLETA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Transphorm Inc., a company redefining energy efficiency with efficient and compact power conversion technology, today announced a $35 million Series E financing led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Nihon Inter Electronics Company (NIEC), with participation from existing venture investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Quantum Strategic Partners (a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management), Lux Capital, and Bright Capital. INCJ is a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and 27 major corporations, including Sharp, Sumitomo Electric, Toshiba and General Electric Company, Japan. INCJ has the capacity to invest up to ￥2 trillion (approximately US$25 billion). This brings the total capital raised from all rounds to $104 million.
In addition to its financial investment, Nihon Inter Electronics entered into a business alliance with Transphorm, with the aim of enabling the stable, mass production and supply of next-generation GaN (Gallium nitride) power devices. The alliance will help bring the long-awaited practical realization, commercialization and mass production of state-of-the-art GaN power conversion solutions.
GaN power solutions are being heralded as next-generation power devices due to the significant reduction in energy loss and energy-saving capabilities for businesses and consumers. Transphorm is the first company to commercialize high voltage GaN backed by its vertically integrated GaN development capability, a world-class team, and intellectual property. Transphorm recently announced that it was the first to successfully deliver qualified high voltage (600V) GaN products, delivering enterprise customers the world’s most compact and energy-efficient power conversion solutions.
“The investment from INCJ substantiates GaN as the next generation energy efficiency technology,” said Umesh Mishra, CEO of Transphorm. “The need for energy efficiency remains paramount even as the sources of energy change. Today’s strategic financing, coupled with the earlier investments, enables scaling of this disruptive technology and helps eliminate energy waste in multiple markets from servers to solar panels, from HVACs to hybrids.”
“The INCJ-enabled alliance with NIEC helps Transphorm accelerate its business while maintaining its global leadership position in GaN power conversion,” said Primit Parikh, Transphorm's President. “Through NIEC, our customers will benefit with broader distribution channels, as well as a reputable second source for some of our packaged products.”
“After a thorough evaluation process, INCJ is pleased to support Transphorm, together with NIEC, in its mission of redefining energy efficiency with GaN,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, Executive Managing Director INCJ. “We look forward to working with Transphorm as they continue to build energy efficient solutions for consumers and businesses around the world.”
Transphorm is redefining electric power conversion, providing cost-competitive and easy-to-embed power conversion devices and modules that reduce costly energy loss by up to 90 percent, and simplify the design and manufacturing of motor drives, power supplies and inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles. From material technology and device fabrication to circuit design and module assembly, Transphorm designs and delivers its power conversion devices and modules to meet the needs of global customers. By creating an ecosystem of electrical systems manufacturers powered by Transphorm, the company accelerates the adoption of application-specific power modules and paves the way for the next generation of electrical systems designed for optimal efficiency. To learn more about Transphorm, visit www.transphormusa.com.
About the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ)
The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) was established in July 2009 as a public-private partnership that provides financial, technological and management support for next-generation businesses. The INCJ specifically supports those projects that combine technologies and varied expertise across industries and materialize open innovation. The INCJ has the capacity to invest up to ￥2 trillion (approximately US$25 billion).To date, the INCJ has invested approximately ￥400 billion in a total of 29 projects and is currently focused on a broad range of areas from green energy, electronics, IT and biotechnology to infrastructure-related sectors such as water supply. The INCJ maintains a hands-on approach to investment, engaging in the business development of cutting-edge core technologies through intellectual property funds, expansion of venture companies and aggressive overseas development through initiatives such as restructuring and mergers of tech businesses and acquisitions of foreign companies.
About Nihon Inter Electronics Corporation (NIEC)
NIEC was established in 1957, and is currently listed at Tokyo Stock Exchange (2nd Section). NIEC has kept a leading position as a manufacturer and supplier of power management semiconductors in Japan and the other Asian countries. NIEC has long been a preferred supplier to many leading manufacturers of automotive, solar energy products, energy efficient appliances, IT products and smartphones. These customers depend on NIEC’s energy efficient power management products to power their current and future products. Also, NIEC is well recognized as a supplier of high quality products, and has won awards for its outstanding quality performances from many global customers.
For more information:
Foundation Capital – www.foundationcapital.com
Google Ventures – www.googleventures.com
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – www.kpcb.com
Lux Capital – www.luxcapital.com
Source: Transphorm, Inc.