July 17, 2008

Austin American Statesman

Nuventix raises $14 million

Austin-based Nuventix Inc., which develops cooling technology for LED lighting systems and electronics, has raised $14 million in venture capital to expand its products and enter new markets.The company, which was spun out of the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005, sells devices that use quick pulses of air to dissipate heat from lighting and consumer electronics.Nuventix, which has raised a total of$29 million since its inception, received the most recent round of financing from Advanced Technology Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, CenterPoint Ventures, InterWest Partners and Rho Ventures.The company said that the funding will be used to expand its offerings for telecom equipment and outdoor lighting markets.Nuventix said it also is seeing an increased demand for its devices to cool semiconductors, computer processing units and electronics that use light-emitting diodes."Over the past 10 months, we've really taken the focus of the company from consumer electronics and servers into LED lighting," marketing director Michael Wilcox said. "The demand is so strong, and it has changed the complexion of the company."The market for LED products such as liquid display and general illumination is growing more than 60 percent each year, the company said."Our technology is allowing LED manufacturers to offer brightness levels not thought possible for two more years," CEO Jim Balthazar said. "With this funding, Nuventix will bring similar cooling innovation to other markets."Nuventix's SynJet modules direct air jets to the parts of high-tech devices that require the most cooling, which the company says uses less power than conventional fans and is quieter and more efficient.Wes Raffel, general partner at Advanced Technology Ventures, said Nuventix solves a problem that has hindered the LED market."These guys said, 'Let's use our technology to give high brightness and also cool the chips that get so hot,' " he said. "An active cooling system is what the market was looking for, and Nuventix figured it out. That's why we're in."The company has 28 workers in Austin and plans to hire more employees as it expands in North America and Europe in the next year, Wilcox said.