raised an additional $10 million in funding to kick off 2013. The funds will be used to expand into new sectors and international markets.
The Boston-based company continued to see solid expansion in the past year. Digital Lumens reported a 150 percent growth in its customer base with more than 500 large-scale installations of its LED lighting and control system for industrial facilities.
Although the LED lighting systems offer the bulk of the savings, up to 90 percent, the company is also moving into offering applications that sit on top of its platform to deliver ongoing analysis and optimization of the lighting system. Essentially, it is looking at how it can take the data it is collecting from the system for added-value applications.
There will be more apps to come, Tom Pincince, president and CEO of Digital Lumens, told Greentech Media in October. In the short term, however, Pincince said that the latest round of funding will be about keeping up with the fast-paced market. “We think there’s an opportunity to build a global presence,” he said. The company currently does about 15 percent of its business overseas in the European Union and Asia and wants to increase that, particularly in Asia. Japan is an especially attractive market because of its efficiency requirements in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
For Digital Lumens, now is also the time to spread its wings beyond mostly industrial applications. The entire LED market is driven by falling prices and greater awareness of the product's benefits. Digital Lumens attributes about 60 percent of its growth to multi-site rollouts by its customers; once a client is familiar with the technology and its savings, the firm will typically want to deploy it across its properties.
“These impressive numbers are proof that the lighting market is moving rapidly to LED, and that Digital Lumens continues to set the standard for performance, efficiency, and value with our customers,” said Pincince.
In retail, some of the company’s customers are ready to take Digital Lumens to the front of the house. If the technology is already in a cold storage warehouse, for example, owners are interested in putting LEDs and controls into commercial stores. Large, open office spaces are also on Digital Lumens’ roadmap, according to Pincince.
Until recently, the bulk of the interest has come from industrial applications, but that is changing. The price/performance ratio of LEDs has improved significantly, and increasing utility rebates also continue to move the market. The money for energy efficiency rebates is expected to double in coming years to $12.4 billion available by 2020. That does not just cover lighting, but as LEDs are proven in the marketplace, they will shift from custom rebates to prescriptive programs, therefore accounting for more of the rebate funds.
In the next year, Pincince sees his company leaving behind the underfunded or underperforming startups and taking on the incumbents. “Our intention is to build a big, standalone business,” he said.
The latest round of funding came from existing investors, including Black Coral Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners and Stata Ventures. Digital Lumens has raised a total of $35 million.