Cambridge University spinout’s latest funding round will be used to double staff and expand its GaN product portfolio following decades of research in power devices.
Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD) has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. The investment was co-led by IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors and BGF, and includes investment from Foresight Williams, Cambridge Enterprise, Martlet Capital, Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Capital Group. The funding will be used by CGD to expand its product portfolio of energy-efficient power devices and to double the size of its team.
CGD was spun out of the renowned power device group at the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge in 2016 to exploit a revolutionary technology in power devices, a market worth in excess of $30 billion. The company’s core business is to design, develop and commercialise power transistors and integrated circuits based on the most energy-efficient material available, Gallium Nitride (GaN).
GaN power devices are significantly higher performing than state-of-the-art silicon-based devices, enabling significant reductions in the size and weight of power converters, whilst producing energy efficiencies higher than 99%.
CGD is developing a range of GaN transistors that are customised for key applications in market segments such as consumer and industrial Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS), lighting, data centres and automotive HEV/EV. The higher efficiency of CGD devices combined with the unique ease-of-use introduced by the Company’s proprietary IP will allow CGD GaN to easily replace silicon in those key applications, while enabling more compact power systems and better use of energy resources.
The company is the result of decades of research in power devices and GaN reliability carried out with world leading organisations in the field, and through several partnerships and collaborations. CGD is currently leading a $10 million European-funded project with 13 industrial and academic partners across Europe, GaNext, developing GaN-based modules for low and high-power applications. The investors were advised by Mills&Reeve, a law firm specialising in growing tech businesses. CGD was advised by Taylor Vinters, a legal and advisory business for the innovation economy.
Giorgia Longobardi, CEO and founder of CGD, commented: “This latest round of investment is a great recognition of our success to date, with new and existing investors confirming the strength of our technology. Since 2016, CGD has grown significantly and we are thrilled to be in a position to deliver several products to market, following decades of industry-leading research in reliability of power devices. This investment will allow us to supplement our experienced team with additional experts and expand our markets globally, creating more sustainable electronics worldwide.”
Eric Stodel, CEO at Neways, a leading EMS System Innovator and Lifecycle Partner in the GaNext project, commented: “Our close collaboration with CGD has been an incredibly rewarding win-win experience. It enables us to develop an extremely compact solar inverter based on the GaN technology. The team’s enthusiasm is inspiring and contagious, and the shared expertise within our companies has been instrumental in making our combined project a great success with much more future potential”.
Ed Stacey, Managing Partner at IQ Capital, commented: “We are proud to support the CGD team as they build on their core technology, from a strong base of academic research and IP, to create the world’s best GaN power devices for a wide range of applications. This highly experienced team has incredible potential to disrupt the electronics industry with new devices that will unlock commercial and environmental gains for suppliers and customers.”
John Pearson, Investment Director at Parkwalk Advisors, commented: “Parkwalk are delighted to have completed this investment into CGD, with their ambitious and experienced team, we are excited to continue supporting them on their journey to commercialise their innovative and highly disruptive technology.”
Tim Rea, investor at BGF, commented: “Clean tech and sustainable investments are at the heart of BGF’s growth strategy for 2021 and beyond. CGD’s technology has the power to make a significant impact on power consumption. Its founders are second-to-none and we look forward to working with them, and a cohort of brilliant co-investors, to bring this product to market.”
Nick Mettyear, Investment Manager at Foresight Williams, commented: “The team are designing market-leading products with a huge range of practical uses. Their devices will ultimately improve performance, reduce cost and lead to reduced emissions.”
A note from Yole Développement (Yole): “The GaN journey has just started with the end-consumer mass market where it will gain volume production,” asserts Ahmed Ben-Slimane, Technology & Market Analyst, Compound Semiconductors and Emerging Substrates at Yole. “In few years, it will expand in the automotive and industrial markets. In our latest Power GaN report, we forecast, the GaN power market will increase from $20 million in 2019 to $700 million in 2025, with a 82% CAGR.” (Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor, Q4 2020 – Power GaN 2019: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications & Technology Trends report, Yole Développement)