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Emerald invests in novel gallium nitride semiconductor company AZZURRO

Zurich-Toronto, November 25, 2010

Germany-based AZZURRO Semiconductors announced today the closing of a EUR 14.5 million growth financing round with Emerald Technology Ventures, Wellington Partners and Good Energies as new investors, joining existing investors Cedrus Private Equity and IBG Innovationsfonds.

AZZURRO is a manufacturer of ultra high quality Gallium Nitride (GaN) epi wafers based on large area silicon substrates. These wafers are used in the power electronics industry to build high performance devices and in the LED industry to manufacture inexpensive high-brightness LEDs.

High power electronic applications like power supplies, solar inverters and power converters for hybrid and electric vehicles are usually manufactured with conventional silicon semiconductors or very expensive silicon carbide devices. GaN-on-silicon is a new material system which has unique advantages in both high efficiency and low cost at high voltages and currents. Previously, this material was not available on large sized silicon wafers and therefore has not been widely adopted. AZZURRO closes this gap by providing high-quality GaN layers on 150 mm (and soon 200 mm) standard silicon wafers, enabling a whole new device category that provides consumers with more efficient electronic devices.

The LED industry has adopted GaN but is relying on small sapphire-based solutions, which have supply and cost constraints. AZZURRO offers a platform technology for LED producers to process wafers in standard silicon production facilities with high productivity. When compared to the conventional technology, substantial cost savings can be achieved while maintaining the same performance.

“We are very pleased to be on board and support the company on its growth and international expansion plan,” said Markus Moor, Partner at Emerald Technology Ventures. “AZZURRO presents an exciting opportunity to serve two independently fast growing markets with cheaper and better performing products. The proceeds of this financing will allow AZZURRO to build out the necessary capacity and economies of scale to supply these growth markets.”

Following this investment, Markus Moor, Partner with Emerald Technology Ventures will join the Supervisory Board of AZZURRO Semiconductors.

About AZZURRO Semiconductors
AZZURRO is a rapidly growing semiconductor company. Having pioneered the growth of gallium nitride on silicon substrates using metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE), AZZURRO is providing its global customer base with epiwafers for LED and high-voltage applications. AZZURRO’s unique capability to grow very thick high quality gallium nitride on large area silicon substrates enables cost breakthroughs for high-brightness LEDs and other GaN-based devices.

About Emerald Technology Ventures
Emerald Technology Ventures is a global leader in cleantech venture capital and operates from offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Toronto, Canada. Founded in 2000, Emerald is a pioneer in this rapidly emerging sector and is focused on innovative technologies in energy, advanced materials and water. Since inception Emerald has managed three venture capital funds and two venture capital portfolio mandates totalling over EUR 300 million (USD 440 million). Emerald is currently investing out of its latest fund and is looking for energetic and passionate entrepreneurs with the vision to build world-class clean technology companies.

For more information please contact:

Emerald Technology Ventures
Hans Dellenbach
Chief Financial Officer
Seefeldstrasse 215
8008 Zurich
Tel +41 44 269 61 23

Emerald Technology Ventures
Scott MacDonald
495 King Street West,
2nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1K4
Tel +1 416 900 3453

Publisher Contact Information:

Emerald Technology Ventures (formerly SAM Private Equity)
+1 416 900 3453

Company profile of Emerald Technology Ventures (formerly SAM Private Equity)
Past press releases of Emerald Technology Ventures (formerly SAM Private Equity).


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