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Bright Future for Seren as it Raises £1M

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Seren Photonics, the UK-based developer of semi-polar Gallium Nitride (GaN) templates, has successfully raised over £1m in an investment round made up from existing investors and including a recent grant award.

The funds enable the company to complete its scale up plans and continue its close engagement with Tier 1 LED partners.

Seren Photonics ground-breaking templates, developed by Professor Tao Wang from the University of Sheffield, are designed to enable high efficiency super high power LEDs for the rapidly expanding automotive headlamp and high brightness general lighting markets as well as for next generation RGB smart lighting applications.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to penetrate every facet of life, the revolutionary new material is also being integrated into “Li-Fi” applications, where an LED light bulb is used to transmit broadband data. The unique properties of the semi-polar material enable a 10x increase in bandwidth compared to conventional LEDs.

Seren’s templates are currently being evaluated by a number of Tier 1 LED manufacturers and research establishments.

The overall market for LEDs is expected to surpass $22B by 2019, up from $15B in 2014. It is estimated that the large-scale adoption of LED lighting in the USA alone will cut that country’s annual energy consumption by the equivalent of 500 million barrels of oil per annum.

Seren’s funding round included IP Group and Finance Wales. The funding will be used to complete several pilot-scale manufacturing cycles and to scale up to 150mm diameter wafers.

Commenting on the recent funding round David Baynes, COO at IP Group, said,

“Seren Photonics continue to make excellent progress. The high level of interest shown by Tier 1 LED manufacturers in Seren’s products endorses the importance of semi-polar GaN in enabling leading edge LED technology.

We’re delighted to continue our support for this award-winning technology during this next phase of commercialisation

Ann Casey, investment executive in Finance Wales’ technology ventures team said:  “Seren’s revolutionary LED technology has considerable potential in a wide range of everyday applications and it’s already attracting the attention of a number of large, global (tier 1) players.  Development to date has progressed well and using this investment Seren can now scale-up its technology to meet the requirements of these global players.”

Seren CEO Dr Carl Griffiths said: “Seren’s game changing semi-polar GaN technology continues to make excellent progress.  We have been able to demonstrate this material’s potential in overcoming the existing failings in conventional oriented GaN and have made efficient diodes operating at green and amber wavelengths. We have also proven the transition to full scale production platforms.

Seren’s award-winning technology will be pivotal in solving the last fundamental technical hurdles faced by GaN in LED manufacture.

Dr Godfrey Ainsworth, Seren’s Chairman said, “We are greatly encouraged by the continued support of our investors.  They have seen that Seren is creating an exceptional opportunity in a global and fast growing market”.