The Biggest Energy (Cleantech) Startup Launch of the Year

Josh Wolfe

It’s been said that the just revealed-from-stealth startupTransphorm has been the biggest launch in cleantech. Unveiled last week at Google’s campus, founding scientist/technologist/entrepreneur Umesh Mishra

and his team have attracted all-star VC backing of Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital (full disclosure: I am founding partner).

As Forbes colleague Eric Savitz wrote earlier:

At an event at the Google (GOOG) campus in Mountain View, California this morning, Google Ventures (the search engine company’s venture capital arm) announced completion of a $20 million investment round in a formerly stealthy startup calledTransphorm. The financing was first disclosed in an SEC filing last year. Other participants in the round include previous investorsKleiner Perkins, Lux Capital and Foundation Capital. Total investment in Transphorm is now $38 million.

“…Founder and CEO Umesh Mishra says the company, based just outside Santa Barbara in Goletta, California, is trying to attack a big problem that he says hasn’t gotten a lot of attention: stopping leakage of electric power whenever power is converted from one form to another. There are several kinds of power conversion processes: converting AC power to DC to power laptops, say; DC-to-DC conversions in hybrid cars; DC to AC conversions in solar inverters; and AC to AC conversions for elevators, industrial motors and and other electrical equipment. In every case, the conversions are inefficient.

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