Nanowire LED innovator Aledia announces €30 million in financing

Jan. 29, 2018

Grenoble, France. Aledia, a developer and manufacturer of next-generation 3D LEDs for display applications based on its gallium-nitride-nanowires-on-silicon platform, today announced the closing of its Series C financing round with Intel Capital as a new investor.

In addition to Intel Capital, the majority of existing Aledia investors participated in the €30 million round, including Braemar Energy Ventures, Demeter, the Ecotechnologies Fund of Bpifrance (the French national industrial bank), IKEA Group, Sofinnova Partners, and Supernova Invest.

“The opportunity for Aledia’s breakthrough nanowire-LED display technology is huge,” said Giorgio Anania, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Aledia. “Today more than 3 billion people interface to the Internet with mobile displays, and LED technology is expected to be used in a majority of these displays in the next few years. The unique advantages that 3D LED technology delivers position it as the driver of a once-in-a-generation shift.

“This financing round and collaboration with Intel reflect this potential and underscores the interest that our 3D nanowire-on-silicon technology is getting in the mobile-display market and from leading global technology-investment firms,” said Anania.

Aledia is developing a new generation of LEDs that are manufactured on large-diameter silicon wafers (200 mm, scalable to 300 mm) and targeted at mobile-display applications. The LED technology is expected to lead to displays that are more energy-efficient, much brighter, and manufacturable at moderate cost. The silicon-based technology also is well suited for the integration of electronics.

Aledia is working on next-generation displays with several large industrial partners. The company also is developing large/existing displays (smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) as well as smaller, newer displays for VR/AR/MR and smartwatch applications, using its megapixel integrated silicon chips.

Anania said this Series C financing will support the company’s plans to significantly accelerate the speed of its LED technology development, including acquiring critical equipment.

“Energy efficiency, display quality, and cost are three critical characteristics of mobile consumer electronics displays, and we feel Aledia’s 3D LED technology, based on large-area silicon fabrication, can impact this space,” said Gregory M. Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel. “We’re excited to work with Aledia to innovate display technologies across client platforms.”

Aledia is a developer of next-generation LED displays based on its disruptive WireLED 3D nanowire technology, which allows manufacturing of 3D LEDs on 8-inch or larger silicon wafers in existing microelectronics foundries, and their straightforward integration with electronics. The company’s 3D GaN-nanowires-on-silicon technology delivers increased brightness and more energy-efficient displays, at a cost point that is lower than that of conventional planar (2D) micro-LEDs. Aledia is based in Grenoble, France, and has subsidiaries in the US, Taiwan and Malaysia. Additional information is available at www.aledia.com.

Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on making investments in the energy technology sector. The firm’s principals have invested in more than 60 companies in the sector and have more than 100 years of combined technical, operational, and financial experience in energy and energy-related industries. Braemar partners with companies and management teams in both alternative and traditional energy markets, which can contribute to a more profitable and efficient energy landscape through innovation and marketplace expertise. Additional information is available at www.braemarenergy.com.

Demeter is among the European leaders for sustainable investment mainly in France, Spain, and Germany. Demeter specializes in private equity investments in the energy and environmental transition sectors and manages venture capital, growth capital/buyout capital and infrastructure funds. With € 1 billion assets under management and 33 professionals, Demeter has made 120 investments over the last 10 years. Additional information is available at www.demeter-im.com.

The venture capital fund (FCPR) has capital of €150 million to invest in PIA initiatives managed by ADEME, and is managed by Bpifrance Investissement. It invests sums of between €1 million and €10 million, systematically seeking matching investment from private partners and acting as an informed investor. The fund primarily targets equity and quasi-equity investments in minority shareholdings in innovative SMEs, mainly French-based and unlisted. The Ecotechnologies Fund invests in those areas of the PIA under ADEME’s management: renewable carbon-free energies and green chemistry, smart grids, the circular economy (waste recovery, eco-design and industrial ecology), and vehicles of the future. The Ecotechnologies investment areas are described more precisely in the AMI calls, “Appels à Manifestations d’Intérêt”, issued by ADEME and available on the following links: www.ademe.fr/IA_fonds_propres and www.bpifrance.fr.

IKEA Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities) says its vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering well designed, functional and affordable, high quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. IKEA Group owns and operates 362 stores in 29 countries under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V., owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor. In FY17, IKEA Group stores had 817 million visitors and 2.1 billion people visited www.IKEA.com. The IKEA Group venture capital investments unit invests to support the growth of innovative companies that are building a more sustainable, connected and affordable life at home.

Intel Capital invests in innovative startups targeting 5G connectivity, the data center, artificial intelligence, merged reality, autonomous driving, and a range of other disruptive technologies. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested US $12.2 billion in 1,500 companies worldwide, and more than 640 portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired. Intel Capital curates thousands of business development introductions each year between its portfolio companies and the Global 2000. For more information, visit www.intelcapital.com.

Sofinnova Partners is a European venture capital firm. Based in Paris, France, the firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a founding and lead investor in start-ups and corporate spin-offs and has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 40 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.6 billion under management.  For more information, visit: www.sofinnova.fr.

Supernova Invest, founded in 2017 by the CEA Investissement funds management team, CEA, and Amundi, specializes in deep-tech venture capital in life sciences, energy, and industry (electronics, advanced materials, instruments…). After taking over the CEA Investissement historical portfolio and with two new funds closed mid-2017, it currently has €230M under management from seed to venture capital, and 47 companies in its portfolio. The management team is based in Paris and Grenoble, France. For more information, visit www.supernovainvest.com.

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