GE invests in LED cooling technology firm

20 Jul 2011

General Electric has joined a US$10m funding round for Nuventix, the Austin, Texas-based producer of LED cooling technology for energy-efficient lighting.

GE Energy Financial Services and The Bergquist Company have joined the existing investors in Nuventix – Braemar Energy Ventures, CenterPoint Ventures, InterWest Partners and Rho Ventures – to complete the US$10m investment round started earlier this year.

The cash injection will be used to fund Nuventix’s global expansion and technology advancements.

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are semi-conductors that produce light, which must be cooled to prevent quick burnout. Nuventix has developed a method for moving air to cool LEDs using a single oscillating membrane, called a SynJet, as an alternative to traditional fans.

GE’s investment in Nuventix was made as part of its ecomagination Challenge. Back in June, Nuventix was named as an innovation award winner for phase II of GE’s $200m open innovation challenge that recognises products and ideas that improve energy efficiency in the home.

“Nuventix’s technology can improve the quality of LED lights by making them brighter, longer-lasting and potentially cheaper,” said Steve Briggs, vice-president of marketing and product management at GE Lighting, in a statement released yesterday.

Ricardo Angel, senior vice-president of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services, said GE will bring more to the table than simply investment in Nuventix, citing unparallelled expertise and market reach to help accelerate the adoption of next-generation lighting.

“This funding and collaboration with GE Lighting will power our global expansion and technology growth as we advance SynJet technology for use in LED lighting and electronics,” added Jim Balthazar, CEO and president of Nuventix. “Our technology cools hot electronics reliably, efficiently, quietly and in the form factors designers want.”

Photo: GE LED traffic and rail signals. The energy giant says the benefits of advanced LED technology in 365-days-a-year devices include recurring energy savings and lower maintenance. Photo courtesy of GE

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic