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SynapSense Raises $7M For Energy Efficiency

synapsense_logoStartup SynapSense said today that it has pulled in $7 million in financing for its wireless energy-efficiency systems, designed to cut down the carbon footprint of energy-hungry data centers. The Folsom, Calif.-based startup also says it is pushing its technology into other, non-data-center markets, too — will it land in ours cars?

While SynapSense didn’t go into any details on what those new markets will be, there’s a new investor in this round that could offer a hint: Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the investment arm of German auto parts maker Robert Bosch. OK, we’re just speculating, but we could imagine a wireless system aiding with vehicle fuel economy, though, the VC arm does have other non-vehicle related investments.

Bosch, the parent company, also has operations in industrial technologies, including solar power, as well as consumer goods and building technologies, such as water heaters and household appliances. Also joining this round were SynapSense’s previous investors, which include Emerald Technology Ventures, Sequoia Capital, American River Ventures, Nth Power and DFJ Frontier.

A move into other markets could make sense for SynapSense, which faces some big-name competition in its core data center market. Sun MicroSystems (s JAVA) is working on ways to design more energy-efficient data centers, and General Electric (s GE) is pushing its own products to cut down on energy in data centers.

SynapSense said its wireless monitoring system offers up real-time thermal, pressure, and humidity readings that can help data center operators keep an eye on their operations and spot ways to cut energy use. The company supports the 802.15.4 radio standard, which is the basis for ZigBee and other specifications. SynapSense said its system can help save up to 20 percent on energy costs.