Very quietly, as least going by the deafening silence in the blogosphere, Chinese LED lighting company SunSun Lighting announced yesterday that it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Oak Investment Partners and GSR Ventures.
The Jiangsu-based startup specializes in affordable and efficient LED lighting and offers what it says are the world’s first LED lamps, which are low-cost but high-in-light output and strong-in-color rendering. CEO Jianning Sun (now there’s an appropriately named executive) says the capital will help the company expand its manufacturing capacity, sales and marketing, and research and development.
SunSun is at the LIGHTFAIR conference in Las Vegas and is today unveiling the MR16 LED bulb, which is universally compatible with AC/DC 12V and all transformers — solving the compatibility issue of replacing halogen. That’s kind of a big deal. After all, as Wired said last year, the future of light is the LED.
SunSun is a great example of a Chinese company leading its US counterparts in innovation. But don’t expect it to get much credit. Even though this funding is the same amount raised by Path in its Series B, the press is not exactly falling over itself to get the story. Interestingly, one LED company that did get a bit of press attention yesterday was Colorado-based TerraLUX, which announced Series B funding of $18.3 million (still important, but, you know, less), lead by Generation Investment Management, a clean-tech investment firm co-founded by Al Gore.
And we’re talking about a big tech opportunity here. The US Department of Energy reckons that switching to LED lighting over the next two decades could save $120 billion in energy costs in the US alone. Wonder who’s going to supply the light bulbs…