May 3, 2012 – BUSINESS WIRE — Micropelt has raised EUR6.5 million for the roll-out and global expansion of its thin-film thermoelectric energy harvesting technology: EUR5 million by Ludgate Environmental Fund (LEF); EUR1 million from the Fund of Mitsubishi UFJ Capital (MUCAP); and EUR0.5 million by the existing shareholders IBG/Goodvent, KfW, L-Bank and SHS.
Micropelt’s thermal micro energy harvesting technology, which uses waste heat to create electricity, will be rolled out to high-growth cleantech markets globally, with focus in Europe and Japan. The microchip-sized device displaces batteries in automated equipment and has multiple domestic and industrial applications, such as radiator valves, industrial automation and remote monitors that assess the condition of equipment.
Bill Weil, CIO of Ludgate Investments Limited, the Investment Adviser to LEF, praised the elimination of battery maintenance and disposal.
Yoshihiro Hashimoto, president of Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd., noted that consistent R&D positioned Micropelt for production of leading thermoelectric products.
Micropelt opened the thin-film thermoelectric production facility in June 2011 in Halle, Germany. Since then the company has been focused on increasing production volumes and reducing per unit cost. Fritz Volkert, CEO of Micropelt, said: "This investment provides Micropelt with a strong boost to our production capacity and the ability to drive the commercialization of our technology."
“After having opened their production site in 2011, the new investment round now enables Micropelt to expand globally,” said Hubertus Leonhardt, chairman of Micropelt’s supervisory board and Managing Partner of SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement.
Micropelt has partnerships with major semiconductor players worldwide, and system integrators, in the field of industrial sensor equipment and intelligent radiator thermostats for heating systems. They also work with leading companies in the monitoring and maintenance of electronic distribution equipment. As part of the company’s global expansion and commercialization of its technology, Micropelt recently agreed on distribution relationships with Arrow in Europe, Tokyo Electronic Device and Hitachi High-Tech Materials Corporation in Japan.
Ludgate Environmental Fund invests in a diverse portfolio of late stage companies in the European cleantech sector. Actively managing its holdings, the Fund invests growth capital with a focus on waste and recycling; renewable energy; energy efficiency and water. Ludgate Environmental Fund launched in August 2007 and has assets under management of approximately £49.0 million as at 31 March 2012. The Fund is a Jersey domiciled closed-ended investment company, quoted on AIM under the symbols LEF.L for the shares and LEFW.L for the warrants. For more information www.ludgateenvironmental.com
Mitsubishi UFJ Capital (MUCAP) is VC arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, originally established in 1974 by Mitsubishi Group companies, manages multiple funds with total capital approximately $500M. MUCAP has made cross-border type investments with selected global syndication partnerships. In this field, MUCAP is focusing companies which offering or developing technologies, products, solutions or services relevant to the Japanese market or companies, especially in TMT & Life Science sector. Further information www.mucap.co.jp/english/profile.html
Micropelt GmbH is a developer, producer and marketer of the world’s smallest thermal energy harvesting chips. The thermoelectric micro chips are based on a patented and scalable thin-film technology which reduces component size while maximising power density. The chips scavenge free electric power from waste heat to replace or recharge batteries in wireless sensor networks and micro actuators. Based in Germany, Micropelt employs 23 staff and opened its first production facility in June 2011. For more information, www.micropelt.com