China’s SunSun Lighting, which makes LED lighting products, has raised $10 million in Series A financing from GSR Ventures. The company will use the money for growth. GSR Ventures has offices in Beijing and Palo Alto, Calif.
SunSun Lighting, a cutting-edge manufacturer of LED (light emitting diode) lighting products, based in China’s Jiangsu Province, announced today that it has received $10 million in Series A financing from GSR Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with offices in Beijing and Silicon Valley / Palo Alto, California.
SunSun, which has been awarded four international patents, is one of a small number of LED general lighting companies to receive venture funding. The money will help enhance SunSun’s technology and solidify its growth trajectory as a major solid state lighting company.
SunSun is led by a world-leading Chinese-based technical team that includes CEO Jianning Sun and senior R&D managers Carol Xu and Ling Luo. Earlier this year, it launched a 9-watt LED global bulb targeted to replace a standard incandescent 60-watt bulb. The technology is designed on the foundation of the company’s cornerstone PowerXplore technology, which tightly integrates four key functions to improve the performance of the LED driving system and power conversion efficacy and also lowers manufacturing costs. The company also makes LED lamps, lighting management systems and fixtures with integrated LED lighting, all serving the commercial, office and residential lighting markets.
SunSun has started building a manufacturing plant with the capacity to produce 30 million LED bulbs a year.
Because of its disruptive system architecture, “SunSun Lighting is capable of producing the LED bulb with the highest lumen efficiency and the lowest cost,” said Sonny Wu, the founder of GSR Ventures and a managing director who spearheaded the investment. SunSun also will benefit from being a member of the end-to-end value chain of GSR Venture’s LED portfolio companies, which include EPI on silicon substrate, high power chip packaging and innovative power electronics companies.
“In five years, SunSun could become a world-class solid state lighting company,” Wu added. “This is the most important reason why we decided to do this deal.”
State-of-the-art lighting has emerged as a robust and fast-growing clean tech sector, Wu said. LED bulbs last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and reduce energy consumption about 80 percent.
The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that switching to LED lighting over the next two decades could save the United States alone $120 billion in energy costs and reduce the electricity consumption for lighting by one-fourth. The U.S. is giving this and other technologies a boost by raising energy standards for light bulbs, signaling the eventual phase-out of the traditional incandescent bulb. LED bulbs have fallen in price but are still far more expensive than alternative bulbs, typically $30 to $45 apiece. Although they will have to fall substantially more in price to truly penetrate the general lighting market, increasing venture capital investment in LEDs could well make this a reality.
SunSun Lighting is GSR Ventures’ sixth investment in LED-related companies and its tenth in energy efficiency companies. It has also invested in LED companies LatticePower Corporation, Lattice Lighting, Dalian Golden Sanwei Technology, Shineon and Times Energy Corp. Its other energy efficient companies are C3Nano, Clean Focus, Sierra Solar and Sinowyde Energy Technologies.
SunSun complements the LED portfolio as a “downstream” general lighting company. Other companies focus on the sale and service of high-powered LED heat-dispersion modules, for example, or in the development of ultra-bright LED devices.
“There is huge market potential for solid state lighting,” Wu said. “If traditional lighting could be replaced by LED technology, it would be a $300 billion market globally in a few years.”
About GSR Ventures
GSR Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm focused on building world class technology companies, primarily in China. The firm invests mainly in Internet, wireless, systems and components and clean technology. GSR has more than $700M in capital under management and companies in its portfolio include Lattice Power, SMIT, Qunar, LaShou.com, NetQin and AdChina. The partnership has a unique combination of strong operating experience, extensive international investment and manufacturing expertise, and deep networks in China and Silicon Valley. Founded in 2004, GSR has offices in Beijing and Silicon Valley/Palo Alto.