CoolIT Systems, a Calgary, Alberta-based company that makes electronics cooling systems, said this week it’s raised C$6.2 million dollars ($5.1 million) in its first round of venture capital funding. Investors included iNovia Capital, a Montreal-based venture-capital firm, which led the round, as well as nonprofit research investor AVAC Ltd. and unnamed angel investors.
CoolIT has developed a liquid cooling system for computers that it claims is more energy efficient than air cooling systems. Reducing computers’ energy consumption is a significant potential market. A Gartner study back in 2007 found that PCs consume 80 billion kilowatt-hours annually. “CoolIT is addressing an acute problem of thermal management and energy efficiency for computers,” said Joško Bobanović, a principal at iNovia.
Instead of just using fans, which produce unwanted noise and dust that can damage computer components, CoolIT’s system acts like a car radiator, pumping liquid through tubes to cool the central processing unit. Because CPUs use more power as they heat up, CoolIT’s system saves energy by keeping computers cooler than air-based systems, according to CEO Geoff Lyon, who also told us the system itself uses less energy than conventional cooling systems. For one thing, it includes technology that regulates the speed of the fan so that it doesn’t run faster than necessary. The pump also consumes only 3 watts of power.
The company believes it’s produced the most energy-efficient cooling technology available, Lyons said, though he wasn’t able to quantify the expected energy savings. Those savings could vary widely depending on the specific application and other factors, he said, adding that the company is conducting tests to help pin down the efficiency now.
CoolIT, founded in 2001, counts Dell
Seagate Technology, IBM and Honeywell International among its customers. In December, the company released a desktop liquid cooling system, called Domino Advanced Liquid Cooling, that was priced at a cool $79. The Domino ALC is already the company’s most successful product by far, according to CEO Lyon. He wouldn’t say how many systems the company had sold, only that the number is more than 1,000 and less than 100,000 per month.
CoolIT plans to use its newfound cash to aggressively expand its distribution into international markets, to add to its team and to complete an acquisition. Lyons wouldn’t disclose any details about the purchase, but said the company hopes to make an announcement “in the next week or so.”