The semiconductor company landed a round of Series B funding from its existing investors, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and RockPort Capital. The amount of the funds was not disclosed.
"It will enable us to broaden our (research and development) program to accelerate things we want to do in the next year or two," said CEO Girvan Patterson of the new funds.
"In particular, it will allow us to put in place the first round of our marketing activities."
He said that because the market demand was developing so quickly, and GaN had flown through its initial milestones of proving the devices would work and defining its go-to-market strategy, that the investors determined it would be more efficient to infuse more money themselves than seek outside participation.
GaN is developing gallium nitride power devices for clean tech purposes. Other applications the firm has talked about are power conversion situations in the aerospace, defence, and resource drilling industries.
After receiving its first institutional funding in November, the company hired five more people (almost doubling its headcount of six). With a current employee base of 11, it anticipates doubling the worker count again by the end of this year in both technical and sales positions.
GaN's first sample products are being deployed through a network of partners, who are also helping out with the marketing efforts. The commercial product should be available, at the earliest, by the end of this year.
Most of the names of partners are not disclosed at this point, except for Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc., which is working with GaN to develop a high-temperature, high-performance package designed for gallium nitride transistors and diodes.
GaN is already receiving queries from potential clients, with about half of the demand forecasted in Europe based on discussions so far with future customers. The company forecasts the the gallium nitride share of the power electronics market will be $1.9 billion by 2020.
Prior to its first institutional funding, four-year-old GaN received financial support from a half-dozen angel investors. The company has also received assistance from the National Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
"A lot of other semiconductor companies are very aware that gallium nitride is the solution for the next generation of power electronics. It will replace silicon," Mr. Patterson said in a 2011 OBJ interview.
On Tuesday, Chrysalix stated the market is expanding even faster than investors anticipated six months ago.
"The market momentum for gallium nitride as a credible alternative to silicon for power devices has grown significantly, with devices becoming mainstream faster than we anticipated," said Mike Sherman, managing director at Chrysalix.
"This means commercial reality is closer and more tangible than expected, and we are delighted that GaN Systems is in a position to capitalize on that opportunity."