Digital Lumens, founded in Boston in 2008, just secured another $23m in Series C VC Investment. Investors in this round included Goldman Sachs, Stata Venture Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Black Coral Capital, Aster Capital & Nokia Growth Partners.
They have now raised a total of $49.3m in 5 funding rounds from 6 Investors. Further details of Investment and M&A in LED Lighting can be seen in our report LED Lighting in Buildings 2014 to 2018 - http://memoori.com/portfolio/led-lighting-in-buildings-2014-to-2018/
Digital Lumens are "front and centre" among companies like Daintree Networks and Enlighted, providing enterprise scale intelligent LED lighting systems to commercial and industrial customers. These intelligent fixtures and controls have embedded networking and sensing capabilities. With the ‘Internet of Things’ coming closer to reality and LEDs providing the potential to control every aspect of a light’s characteristics; smart lighting control systems provide another huge potential growth area for lighting companies.
Smart control systems are becoming increasingly important due to LED commoditization, with many LED manufacturers locked into "a race to the bottom". Intelligent lighting controls are being seen as potential hot sectors for investment. This should encourage wider scale adoption of smart technology in both the commercial and residential sectors.
As if to underline this point, earlier in the week, Smasung announced it will cease its LED lighting business outside of South Korea. An LED price war led by growing competition from Chinese manufacturers have slashed profitability even as demand for LED lighting remains strong.
We believe that venture and startup activity will now inevitably be much greater in the later stages of the supply chain. Innovations in control systems and services tend to be software (not hardware) intensive, capital efficient, and well aligned with the traditional venture capital investment approach of small amounts of capital yielding, potentially, large returns.
Going forward, further strategic investment in R&D to develop attractive new LED lighting products and systems will still be required. Large corporations and industrials will have strategic motivations to foster this continued R&D investment to help them differentiate from the competition. So we may yet see as much investment coming from these sources as from Venture Capitalists.
More information and research on the Global Lighting Controls Market - http://memoori.com/portfolio/smart-buildings-wireless-lighting-controls-2014-to-2018/ - and LED Markets - http://memoori.com/portfolio/led-lighting-in-buildings-2014-to-2018/ are available.