The past two years have seen a significant decline in the number of venture firms making new investments in the Energy Technology and Semiconductor sectors. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for private companies raising capital in these sectors.
Increasingly, corporate investors are playing a critical role in financing companies in these sectors, with 54% of energy tech and 24% of semiconductor private financing rounds in 2012 including one or more corporate investors1.
As the funding for energy tech and semiconductor startups from traditional financing sources has weakened, Applied Ventures continues to be a strong supporter of new thinking that will drive these sectors.
Picture a future where your bathroom mirror doubles as an information resource, displaying the weather forecast and your daily agenda, and where your vision is precisely enhanced by tunable eyeglasses and windshields. This is a future that Halation Photonics aims to enable. Applied Ventures is proud to join Halation as an investor.
The majority of mobile devices today use LCD screens. While these displays are certainly a technical marvel, next generation devices will demand higher efficiency displays that consume significantly less power.
Unlike traditional displays that require a backlight and a constant power source, Halation’s multi-stable liquid crystal displays do not require any power to hold an image. In this video, Dan Sun, Halation’s chairman and CTO, explains Halation’s innovative technology and some of its applications.
The solar market has grown far beyond what most analysts had predicted even 5-10 years ago, and Applied Materials has played a key role in driving down the costs of solar modules by helping to improve efficiencies and through advances in solar cell manufacturing technology.
However, while falling module prices have made solar somewhat more affordable, the net system installed cost is still very high, especially in the residential and commercial markets. As anyone who has tried installing a solar system on their rooftop knows, the final, installed price is still high, largely because of the balance of system (BOS) – all the upfront costs associated with a photovoltaic system except the module* – hasn’t declined at the same rate as the modules prices. If we could lower the BOS cost, we believe a great deal of pent-up demand could be unleashed.
In the same way that various prophets of doom foretell the imminent demise of Moore’s Law, we often hear that conventional memory technologies are going to run out of steam soon.
However, the semiconductor industry is highly-skilled at extending its existing architectures rather than making the leap to shiny new ones with apparently compelling advantages. Thus, incremental advances in conventional technology have delayed the introduction of a raft of exciting new memory technologies.
When will the tipping point be reached that pushes one or more into the mainstream? Read what the some of the best-informed minds in the business have to say after the jump.
World-wide energy consumption is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years, and it is not exactly clear where all this additional energy is going to come from. Equally as puzzling is the surprising fact that most of the energy we produce is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat.
So far, there have been very few compelling solutions for capturing this waste heat and turning it back into useable energy.
Today we're announcing a new initiative to identify and invest in early-stage, privately-held Chinese companies with promising technologies that can advance or complement the company’s core expertise, particularly in the areas of cleantech, display and semiconductor manufacturing.
Applied Ventures welcomed another investor in one of its portfolio of companies, Tera-Barrier. As a spin‐off company from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering/A*STAR, the company has a strong patent portfolio (29 patents) on transparent gas barrier technology, encapsulation and gas permeation measurement system has been transferred to the company.
I am pleased to share with you an update on Applied Ventures as we celebrate our fund's fifth anniversary. Over these past five years, we have had the privilege of investing more than $100 million dollars in 27 companies, mostly in cleantech, making us one of the most active investors in the space.
Photovoltaics World just published a special issue called “Champions of Photovoltaics” to honor a select group of advocates, technologists, investors and companies that have helped to make PV a viable clean energy source and the world’s fastest growing energy technology. Applied Materials is recognized in 3 of the 4 categories – for technology, as investors and as a company.
Recognized as one of the PV technology champions is Dr. Charlie Gay, and President of Applied Solar. A 35-year industry veteran, Gay has been a stalwart proponent and innovator for PV starting in the 1970s when PV first became recognized as a commercial power source. Today, Gay is responsible for Applied’s solar efforts with important stakeholders in the industry, technical community and governments around the world.
Yesterday it was announced that Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, made an investment in BT Imaging, the world’s leading supplier of luminescence-based inspection and quality control systems for the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. The investment was part of its Series A2 financing round totaling US$ 3.8 million.