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Fusion IP plc : Seren Photonics, raises £1.8m to accelerate commercialisation of its revolutionary LED technology

03/08/2012 | 06:56am US/Eastern

Fusion IP plc (AIM: FIP), the university IP commercialisation company that turns world class research into business, is pleased to announce that Seren Photonics Ltd ("Seren"), its LED technology company, has raised £1.8M in equity funding to enable Seren to transfer its cutting edge technology to manufacturing partners around the globe. The first of these exploitation agreements was recently announced with an Indian manufacturer.

Seren's revolutionary new processing technique, developed by Professor Tao Wang from the University of Sheffield, has been shown in tests to greatly increase the efficiency at which a high brightness (HB) LED converts an applied voltage into light and significantly reduces heat generation under normal running conditions. Successful demonstrations of the patent pending technology have resulted in a significant increase of the light output compared to untreated devices, which means that either much brighter LED lamps can be manufactured or that the power consumption of LED lamps can be reduced.

Seren's technology is targeted at the large and fast growing white light HB LED markets, such as back lighting for laptops and TVs, signs and displays, as well as domestic, architectural and street lighting.  Dr Godfrey Ainsworth, Seren's Chairman said, "This market is currently worth an estimated $7bn in 2011 and is set to grow to $20bn by 2014.   HB LEDs are set to replace incandescent lamps as governments around the world bring in legislation banning the manufacture and sale of incandescents and concerns increase about the poor light quality and environmental contamination fears from compact fluorescents.  The rate of adoption will accelerate as the brightness of HB LEDs increases and the cost of manufacture reduces."

Seren's funding round raised a total of £1.8M from a number of investors, including I2BF Global Ventures (£1,100,000), Fusion IP plc (£300,000) and IP Group plc (£400,000).  The funding will be used to purchase key capital equipment for HB LED pilot scale development and create a specialist engineering team for the transfer of Seren's processes to its commercial manufacturing partners. 

Post funding Fusion will have a 40.2% undiluted shareholding in Seren.

Dr Carl Griffiths, CEO of Seren Photonics Ltd said:

"We are delighted to have secured this significant investment from our existing shareholders and from I2BF.  The funds will enable us to accelerate the transfer of Seren's technology to manufacturing partners. This will start with our existing collaboration partnerin India and we are already in discussion with HB LED manufacturers in China about the possibility of licensing or creating a joint venture manufacturing facility. We will continue to look for other potential partners outside of these territories."

David Waserstein, Partner and Director of Investments at I2BF said:

"We believe LEDs will play a large role in reducing energy intensity for a range of municipal and industrial users, and that Seren is well-positioned to help drive that growth due to the double impact of its technology on both brightness and reduction of heat loss. We are also pleased to be supporting a UK university spin out at this time, which has been ably supported by our co-investors Fusion IP PLC."

Peter Grant, Operations Director for Fusion IP said:

"We are very pleased to join I2BF Global Ventures and IP Group in this funding round, which will enable Seren to continue its impressive development of its LED technology. We remain confident that Seren can make a significant contribution to enabling the use of LEDs in a variety of different energy efficient applications where there is a continuous need to reduce power consumption and improve product performance.  With this funding in place we look forward to the Company securing further deals for the use of its technology internationally."

Hybridan acted as placing agent to this placing.

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