raised $8 million in a series C funding round on Tuesday to increase the breadth of its LED lighting portfolio and to build deeper channel presence. Albeo’s focus on the industrial sector has reaped a 50-percent increase in revenue in 2011 and an increase in LED retrofits of 300 percent.
The Series C funding comes at a boom time for Albeo, which focuses on industrial and commercial lighting. The investment was led by Braemar Energy Ventures and joined by Green Spark Ventures, which was an existing investor. Silicon Valley Bank provided a working capital financing line.
“Given the projected increase in the pace of change within the lighting market, we see a great opportunity with Albeo as they showcase the expertise and dexterity needed to respond quickly to customer needs, giving them a natural advantage within the industry,” Dennis Costello, Managing Partner at Braemar Energy Ventures, said in a statement. “We are excited about future opportunities and the expansion of Albeo’s market presence and product offerings.”
Other LED companies are also thriving in the commercial market. Redwood Systems, for example, saw year-over-year growth in sales of more than 300 percent, and Lighting Science Group produced 4.5 million LEDs in 2011, a 450-percent increase compared to 2010.
Albeo's sweet spot is not office space, however, but rather cold storage facilities, data centers and other large retail and industrial sectors. For cold storage and data centers, owners are seeing a 1.5- to 2-year payback for LED lights, according to the company. That payback makes LEDs extremely attractive, compared to high-bay, high-intensity discharge lamps. The Boulder-based company has lights in more than 7 million square feet of space.
The international market for LEDs continues to get stronger. A report from McKinsey & Company found that LEDs will be nearly 60 percent of the global lighting market revenue by 2020, about a $145 billion business.
Albeo thinks its future success lies in its flexibility. While other companies are vying to have their control standards become the norm, CEO Jeff Bisberg feels that the control technology is fairly mature and it is the LED technology that is still evolving.
Bisberg recently told Greentech Media that he is “cautiously optimistic” about 2012, and he expects to see similar success to what the firm experienced in 2011. Cold storage is already at the point where mass adoption is likely to occur, and a 2010 Enterprise LED Lighting report from Groom Energy and GTM Research also found that the market for LEDs in parking garages should start to mature going into 2012.
“With Braemar’s existing portfolio and network in the LED and lighting sector, the strategic partnership will be invaluable in helping Albeo better support the lighting needs of our customers,” Bisberg said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our current trajectory of growth and are excited about potential future opportunities.”