Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Big day for sensors: Tiger Optics and Sionex

  • Extremely pleased to report this one (self-promotion alert): Tiger Optics, which has developed superior sensors using a proprietary cavity ring-down spectroscopy technology (note: opens pdf), completed the first close of a Series B funding in the past week, led by Expansion Capital Partners. The company's products are used for the detection of trace gas contamination, and has applications in semiconductor manufacturing, industrial processes, environmental sensing, automotive emissions testing, medical devices -- it is, in short, a strong platform technology. Will provide a link with more details as soon as one is available.
  • According to today's PE Week Wire, Sionex closed $10.08M of a $12M Series C, with funding from Navigator Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Rho Ventures, TechFarm Ventures, and Draper Labs. Sionex offers a sensor-on-a-chip based on MEMS technology.
We've mentioned the strong cleantech opportunity in sensors before. As optical technologies -- often derived from telecommunications innovations -- see dramatically lowered component costs, and as intelligence moves further out into the emerging machine-to-machine monitoring and automation network, sensors are becoming a critical piece of the puzzle for efforts to drive efficiency in manufacturing, better monitor environmental and safety conditions, and improved energy efficiency in everything from motors to buildings. The newer technologies are often a dramatic improvement, in terms of both cost and performance, on incumbent technologies that may take a long time to operate, or may be labor-intensive and hard to operate remotely, or often require constant recalibration. It's not surprising that it's an area that is getting increasing attention from cleantech investors.


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