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Laser lighting firm SLD Laser receives $50m investment

TDK Ventures has invested $50 million in SLD Laser, a leader in the commercialisation of visible laser light sources for automotive, mobility, medical, li-fi communication, sensing, specialty lighting, and consumer applications. 

SLD Laser was co-founded in 2013 by a group of 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. The independent spin-off from Soraa Inc holds an intellectual property portfolio with over 500 patents. The company's recently released products are more than 10 times brighter than today’s LED lights, capable of illuminating objects 1km away while using less power than traditional technology.

SLD Laser's Beyond Lighting technology combines dynamic illumination with high-resolution sensing and ultra-high speed li-fi 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.

Related story: A new type of solid state sources for speciality lighting - Dr Paul Rudy explains the latest developments in GaN laser diodes and laser pumped phosphor architectures

'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.'​ 

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