Innovation is alive and well in the semiconductor industry. That was a key takeaway from the strategic investor panel at the second annual Silicon Innovation Forum at SEMICON West, and one I can’t reinforce enough within the venture capital (VC) community.
With 2013 in our rear-view mirror, I’m pleased to announce that Applied Ventures has completed another successful and busy year, investing more than $18 million in 2013, including closing six new investments in early stage companies. Altogether, since we first formed Applied Ventures in 2005, we have invested approximately $179 million in more than 50 portfolio companies spanning equipment, materials, device and process providers in the clean energy, semiconductor, display, lighting and energy storage sectors.
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.
Earlier this week I gave the keynote speech at the Emerging Display Technologies Conference in San Jose, Calif. and discussed the five waves of demand for the display industry and where we’ll be headed in the near future.