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  • OptoGaN Raises $6.7M
Jun 2007
HELSINKI, Finland, June 11, 2007 -- Gallium nitride-based LED maker OptoGaN Oy announced it has raised €5 million (approximately $6.7 million) in its latest funding round, led by the Nordic venture fund Via Venture Partners. The money will be used to market OptoGaN's chips as replacements for incandescent lightbulbs.

Most LEDs until now haven't been bright enough to replace incandescent bulbs, and the cost has been too high, Via Venture Partners said, but OtpoGaN's patented technology makes very bright, low-cost LEDs possible, opening the lighting market up to using LEDs for general illumination.

LED lamps will use 10-12 times less energy than traditional bulbs and two to two-and-a-half times less than energy-saving lamps, OptoGaN said. They will have an expected lifetime of approximately 15 years and will be able to produce light with the same color spectrum as the sun.

A complete change from lightbulbs to LEDs is estimated to potentially reduce global energy consumption by 15 percent and also save the environment from significant greenhouse gases, Via Ventures said.

"OptoGan is a good example of a truly global technology startup company. It has been established through intensive collaboration between Helsinki University of Technology and a Russian scientist team. The technology has been developed in Finland by two Russian scientists and the semiconductor production expertise originates from Germany," said Investment Director Antti Kummu of Finnish Industry Investment Ltd., a government-owned investment company that also participated in the funding round, in a statement.

Via Venture Partners principal Peter Thorlund Haahr will now join the OptoGaN board. Existing investor VNT Management Oy/Power Fund I also participated in the financing round.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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