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18 June 2015

Nanowire LED firm Aledia completes $31m Series B financing

Aledia S.A. of Grenoble, France, which is developing light-emitting diodes based on 'WireLED' three-dimensional (3D) nanowire GaN-on-silicon technology that is claimed to cut manufacturing costs compared to conventional planar (2D) LEDs, has closed its Series B financing round and executed development and supply contracts with major LED buyers.

The round, totalling up to €28.4m ($31m), includes new investments from Valeo (one of the world's largest automobile-equipment makers 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). Existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Braemar Energy Ventures, Demeter Partners and CEAi/ATi also participated in the round.

"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," comments CEO, chairman & co-founder Giorgio Anania.

Based on technology originally developed by the CEA-Leti nanotech research institute in Grenoble, Aledia is developing a new generation of LEDs that are fabricated on large-diameter 200mm (8-inch) silicon wafers (allowing manufacturing in existing CMOS foundries), that promise to be significantly less expensive than traditional '2D' LEDs, it is reckoned, and that allow straightforward integration with electronics. Aledia is also working on next-generation displays.

"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," Anania says. "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, Aledia has signed a supply agreement with Valeo.

"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," says Maurizio Martinelli, Valeo Visibility business group president.

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

"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," comments Bpifrance Investissement's investments director Anne-Sophie Carrese.

See related items:

Veeco's K465i MOCVD system chosen for CEA-Leti and nanowire-LED spin-off Aledia

CEA-LETI spin-off Aledia makes its first LEDs on 8-inch silicon wafers using microwire technology

Tags: Leti Aledia

Visit: www.aledia.com

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