Richard Branson’s Virgin Fuels has led an investment of $9 million in lighting startup Metrolight. This is the third round of funding for the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company, bringing its total funds raised to $23 million. Other investors in the round include Gemini Israel Funds, Israel Cleantech Ventures and Altshuler Shaham. The company will officially announce the funding tomorrow, and the Tennessean.com just posted an article on the news.
Founded in 1996 with an R&D office in Israel, Metrolight sells ballasts for high-intensity discharge lighting, which is commonly used in outdoor and industrial lighting situations. We just got off the phone with Randy Reid, Metrolight’s executive v-p of sales & marketing, who said the funding will be used for growth. The company, he said, is hiring more employees in the U.S. this year.
Reid says Metrolight’s lighting technology can save customers 50 percent to 65 percent on energy and maintenance costs; a new fixture, including labor, will cost between $250 an $300. Reid
attributed Virgin Fuels’ interest in Metrolight to its proven technology; the company, he said, is selling thousands of ballasts per day.