Azzurro Semiconductors secures financing to accelerate expansion

The German company will use its new financing to build a facility in Dresden to make GaN-on-silicon epitaxial wafers.

Azzurro Semiconductors, a Madgeburg, Germany-based manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafers grown on large-area silicon substrates, has closed a EUR 14.5 million investment round.

The financing round will provide production capacity to address significant market demand, says the company, which plans to build a production facility in Dresden.

Funding was provided by new investors Wellington Partners, Good Energies and Emerald Technology Ventures and was joined by existing investors Cedrus Private Equity and IBG Innovationsfonds (managed by GoodVent).

The GaN-on-silicon wafers manufactured by Azzurro are used in the power electronics industry to build high-performance devices, and in the LED industry to manufacture inexpensive high-brightness LEDs.

The LED industry has adopted GaN but is mostly relying on small-diameter sapphire substrates which have supply and cost constraints. Azzurro offers a platform technology for LED producers to process the wafers in standard silicon production facilities with high productivity. When compared to the conventional technology, substantial cost savings can be achieved while maintaining the same performance, says Azzurro.

“The Azzurro team has worked hard for the last seven years to bring the core technology platform to commercialization readiness,” said Erwin Wolf, CEO of Azzurro. The basic technology Azzurro is using was invented essentially by Aloys Krost and Armin Dadgar at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg in 1999-2006, and was exclusively transferred to Azzurro, explains Wolf.

"We have received highly encouraging feedback from our customers and are now building up more capacity to fully support our customers’ ramp-up plans," said Wolf. "We are delighted to have succeeded in bringing in substantial capital to finance our first production site to be built in Dresden.”

“We share Azzurro’s believe that the time has come to build a high-volume GaN [on silicon] epiwafer foundry to enable industry-wide adoption,” said Christian Reitberger, General Partner at Wellington Partners. “With this growth step, Azzurro will bring the industry the long-anticipated arrival of GaN-on-Si and the benefits of economies of scale. We look forward supporting Azzurro in further building a world-class execution team to deliver on this promise.”

Following this investment, Christian Reitberger (Wellington Partners), Frank Siebke (Good Energies) and Markus Moor (Emerald Technology Ventures) will join the Supervisory Board of Azzurro Semiconductors. More in formation on the investment partners can be found in the company's press release.

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