Two sectors that could provide some concrete and immediate reductions in energy use — more efficient lighting and a smarter power grid — saw investment this week. LED startups Bridgelux and Illumitex, and smart meter software firm eMeter all brought in some fresh funding for their solutions, which totalled almost $60 million.
Bridgelux, $40M: Light emitting diodes (LED) are the future of lighting, and venture capitalists continue to fund various startups building the tech. This morning six-year-old LED chip maker Bridgelux said it has raised a Series D round of $40 million; $30 million of private equity and $10 million of bank lines of credit.
The round was led by VentureTech Alliance, and included DCM, El Dorado Ventures, VantagePoint, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Harris & Harris Group. Back in August, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bridgelux raised $23 million in a series C round led by Chrysalix. The company raised its $8.5 million series A round in April 2006 and changed its name from eLite Optoelectronics.
Bridgelux makes LED chips and packaged LEDs and is trying to move into integrated solutions for specific markets. That’s what part of the recent funding is for, the company tells us. Bridgelux is also hoping to be breakeven by the fourth quarter of 2009.
Illumitex, $5.25M: The Austin Business Journal says another LED startup, Illumitex, has raised the first half of a $10 million round of funding (hat tip VentureBeat). Investors include DFJ, Mercury Venture Partners, Aweida Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates.
eMeter, $12.5M: Smarter meters = a smarter power grid. Advanced metering company eMeter says it’s raised $12.5 million in a round led by German electronics heavyweight Siemens that included Foundation Capital (which announced its fund this week too) and DBL Investors.
The San Mateo, Calif.-based company makes software to help utilities manage the grid connected to smart meters in homes and businesses. The company claims 20 million meters under contract — a pretty high number considering the technology is still not deployed in most places in the United States.