Transphorm, the Goleta-based company focused on energy efficiency in electronics, has raised $35 million from a group backed by the Japanese government and has secured a mass manufacturing agreement with a Japanese firm.
The South Coast company, founded by UC Santa Barbara professor Umesh Mishra and longtime business partner Primit Parikh, has raised $104 million so far. The company previously raised money from funds connected to Google and George Soros.
The new financing is a Series E round led by Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Nihon Inter Electronics Co. Innovation Network is public-private group composed of 27 private Japanese companies and the Japanese government that has up to $25 billion at its disposal to invest. As part of the investment, Transphorm is forming a “strategic alliance” with Nihon to mass produce Transphorm’s products.
Transphorm makes gallium-nitride based power electronics. In electronic devices such as Internet servers, power must be converted from its raw state on the grid to a more useable form. A great deal of the electricity is wasted as heat during the conversion process, but Transphorm’s products can cut that heat waste by up to 90 percent, the company says.
The newest funding round for Transphorm also includes participation from existing venture investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Lux Capital, Bright Capital and Quantum Strategic Partners, a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management.
“The need for energy efficiency remains paramount even as the sources of energy change,” Mishra, Transphorm’s CEO, said in a release. “Today’s strategic financing, coupled with the earlier investments, enables scaling of this disruptive technology and helps eliminate energy waste in multiple markets from servers to solar panels, from HVACs to hybrids.”