GaN Systems closes strategic investment led by BMW i Ventures


An employee holds a BMW logo on the production line of the BMW C evolution electric maxi-scooter at the BMW Berlin motorcycle plant February 23, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

GaN Systems Inc, an Ottawa-based provider of power transistors, has closed a strategic investment led by BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of German automobile manufacturer BMW. With the deal, the value of which was not disclosed, BMW i Ventures joins the company’s existing investors, BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital. Founded in 2008, GaN makes Gallium Nitride power transistors for consumer, enterprise, industrial, solar-wind-smart-grid and transportation power conversion applications. It will use the funds raised to expand global sales and accelerate new product development.

PRESS RELEASE

BMW i Ventures Leads Strategic Investment in GaN Systems

Mountain View – July 18, 2017 – GaN Systems, the world’s leading provider of GaN power transistors, announced the closing of an investment round led by BMW’s investment arm, BMW i Ventures. Consistent with its investment strategy, BMW i Ventures recognizes that GaN Systems’ products maximize the efficiency of electronic systems while dramatically reducing size, weight and overall system cost. The investment will be used to expand global sales and accelerate new product development. BMW i Ventures joins the existing investors: BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital.

“GaN Systems’ power transistors have created new possibilities for engineers to build the power electronics demanded by today’s systems. Gallium Nitride-based transistors have become, in my opinion, the next big stepping stone in miniaturization. We have seen systems ¼ of the size while providing better efficiency than traditional silicon-based alternatives. With GaN, any system that needs power can become smaller, lighter and more efficient. These capabilities are particularly relevant in the automotive sector,” stated Uwe Higgen, managing director, BMW i Ventures.

GaN Systems’ CEO, Jim Witham, commented on the landmark investment, “From computer/phone chargers and data center servers to factory motors and electric cars, our customers have validated the GaN value proposition of small, efficient, low-cost power electronics. These benefits are widely recognized by the world’s biggest companies across all industries.”

“There are many examples of how GaN benefits power systems,” continued Higgen. “With autonomous cars, there will be the need to massively scale the data center infrastructure. Data center power consumption is one of the biggest cost drivers, and increasing the efficiency of power conversion will account for billions of dollars in cost savings and enable a more sustainable infrastructure around the globe.”

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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