Pacific Light lands $3M for LED technology
By Erik Siemers
Ron Nelson, CEO of Pacific Light Technologies, says his company has the "holy grail" of the lighting industry.
A Portland startup developing technology to make LED lights more efficient and less expensive has landed a $3 million venture capital round led by local investor groups.
Pacific Light Technologies, working from the Portland State University Business Accelerator, has closed $2 million of the Series A round led by the Oregon Angel Fund and Portland-based venture capital firm Pivotal Investments.
CEO Ron Nelson, who also contributed to the round, said another $1 million has been committed and should close by the end of July.
The 13-person company is developing a technology Nelson says will allow manufacturers of long-lasting LED lights to provide better light output while slashing the cost potentially by more than half.
“We believe we have the magic formula,” Nelson said.
The funding round will be used to continue development. The company expects to return to the market later this year for a Series B round of between $4 million and $8 million, which would help build a sales team and gear up for manufacturing, which Nelson said could start sometime in the second half of 2013.
The market for LED — or light-emitting diode — lights has surged over the past four years as innovations have helped transition it from a display technology to a viable competitor to traditional household lighting sources.
LEDs emit high-intensity blue energy that, when emitted through various colored phosphors, converts to the warmer hues typical of home or office use.
The sale of LED light fixtures and replacement lamps surged 45 percent last year to $9.3 billion, according to Silicon Valley research firm Strategies Unlimited. It’s expected to continue growing the next five years.
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