January 22, 2020
TDK Ventures invests in GaN laser light pioneer SLD Laser
TDK Ventures makes third investment from $50 million fund in SLD Laser, a GaN materials pioneer commercializing the next generation of visible laser light sources for automotive, mobility, medical, LiFi communication, sensing, specialty lighting, and consumer applications.
SLD Laser fulfills TDK Ventures’ mission targeting innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios.
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announces that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. has added to its growing portfolio of companies with its investment in SLD Laser, a world leader in the commercialization of visible laser light sources. SLD Laser is TDK Ventures’ third investment since its July 2019 launch with a mission to invest its expertise in innovative materials science, energy, power and related areas for a sustainable world where digital and energy transformation will improve billions of lives.
“TDK is the perfect strategic partner,” said Steve Denbaars, CEO and cofounder at SLD Laser. “Their vision of digital and energy transformation matches our vision of developing real-world applications for intelligent illumination, sensing, and communication that weren’t thought possible. We have already identified a number of areas where TDK will help us pioneer the future of light faster.”
TDK Ventures’ Managing Director Nicolas Sauvage added, “We look for fundamental solutions to the hardest problems, and offer our expertise, experience and industry connections to startups and growth phase companies to help them more quickly achieve their full potential to make a positive world impact. SLD Laser is a true pioneer in innovative and meaningful applications leveraging semipolar GaN materials, and we are very impressed by their team and their ambitious roadmap of a wide spectrum of applications around the future of light. We look forward to contributing to their success in the coming months and years.”
SLD Laser was cofounded in 2013 by a group of leading global pioneers in solid state lighting: Dr. Shuji Nakamura (2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics and father of modern LED lighting), Dr. Steve Denbaars, Dr. James Raring, and Dr. Paul Rudy. The independent spin-off from Soraa Inc. holds an intellectual property portfolio with over 500 patents. Their recently released products are more than ten times brighter than today’s LED lights, capable of illuminating objects one kilometer away while using less power than traditional technology. Their Beyond Lighting technology combines dynamic illumination with high-resolution sensing and ultra-high speed LiFi communication. SLD Laser products are used in a myriad of applications including automotive, mobility, specialty and portable lighting, entertainment and outdoor, projection and AR/VR displays, biomedical instrumentation, therapeutics, industrial imaging, and material processing.
About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation is a leading electronics company based in Tokyo, Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's comprehensive portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, Chirp, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2019, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 105,000 people worldwide.
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About SLD Laser
SLD Laser is commercializing a new generation of visible laser light sources for automotive, mobility, specialty lighting, and consumer applications. The company is ISO 9001 certified and automotive compliant to IATF 16949, and operates facilities in Santa Barbara, CA and in Fremont, CA. SLD Laser’s high luminance LaserLight sources are UL and IEC safety certified, and are utilized in a myriad of applications including automotive & mobility, specialty & portable lighting, entertainment & outdoor, projection & AR/VR displays, biomedical instrumentation & therapeutics, and industrial imaging & material processing. SLD Laser was founded in 2013 by several leading global pioneers in solid-state lighting, including Dr. Shuji Nakamura, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Dr. Steve Denbaars, Dr. James Raring, and Dr. Paul Rudy. To learn more about SLD Laser, visit www.SLDlaser.com or contact the company at or 1-866-SLD-LASE.