Phoseon secures $6.4 million investment

A manufacturer of high-power UV and IR light sources has completed its Series B financing round.

Phoseon Technology Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-powered light sources based in Beaverton, Oregon, has raised $6.4 million in its Series B financing round. Mark Owen, the company's CEO, said that the investment will allow Phoseon to expand its team and infrastructure, and to bring its technology "aggressively to market."

Phoseon's solid-state technology allows intense ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) light-emitting arrays to be projected uniformly over large areas. The company takes conventional LEDs and adds patent-pending advanced packaging and control techniques.

Phoseon's Radion technology provides an efficient source of UV light with approximately 10X the lifetime of equivalent arc lamps. The source also uses much less power but provides higher intensity than arc lamps, resulting in faster industrial curing, one of the key applications of this technology. The company manufactures solid-state UV modules, as well as wafer bond inspection systems and fluorescent inspection systems.

Phoseon's technology could displace mercury arc lamps and lasers in applications such as lithography, the drying of inks, adhesives and coatings. The technology has already penetrated markets such as semiconductor inspection, industrial printing and IC lithography applications.

Phoseon's Series A investment in 2003 pulled in cash from about six individual investors who are or were senior executives in the semiconductor and equipment industries.

The latest round was led by local venture capital firms Fluke Venture Partners (Seattle, Washington) and SmartForest Ventures (Portland, Oregon). Others in the syndicate include PacRim Ventures, Capybara Ventures, Japanese corporation Moritex, and several individual investors connected to Phoseon's target markets, the company said.

"Phoseon has already achieved significant revenue internationally from multiple product lines with major customers and is involved in industrial consortiums which will push their technology forward," said Debi Coleman, partner with SmartForest Ventures. "They have executed their operations well and already have more than a dozen patent applications in process."

In February 2005, Phoseon announced a development agreement with Spectra to exploit solid-state light sources in the printing industry. Spectra manufactures piezoelectric (PZT) ink jet heads, and the Phoseon light sources might be used for curing in the ink jet market.

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