Durham Semiconductor Startup Lands IDEA Fund Partners as Investor in $3M Round

WRAL Tech Wire writer Rick Smith takes a look at Sarda Technologies and its recent $3M financing. The company, founded by chip industry vetersans Bob Conner and Jim Vorhaus, is a fabless semiconductor company focusing on power loss in DC-DC voltage converters and reducing the size of power components in portable, enterprise and consumers systems. The financing was led by IDEA Fund Partners.

Read the full article from WRAL Tech Wire.

IDEA Fund Partners Announces Investment in Sarda Technologies

Durham Startup and Recent NC IDEA Grant Winner Closes First Equity Financing

DURHAM, NC − March 12, 2012 − IDEA Fund Partners, a venture capital firm providing seed and early stage financing to technology companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, is pleased to announce its recent investment in Sarda Technologies, Inc. The investment will enable the company to accelerate product development and evaluation.

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Sarda is a fabless semiconductor company focused on reducing power loss in DC-DC voltage converters. Sarda’s technology results from a radical reimaging of the basic field effect transistor geometry and enables the switches used in converters to achieve ultra low power loss and very high switching frequencies. The Sarda team is led by semiconductor industry veterans Bob Conner and Jim Vorhaus, both of whom have significant Fortune 500 company and startup experience.

Sarda was awarded an NC IDEA grant in the Spring of 2011, receiving funds to assist in the patenting of its technology. During the grant process, Sarda created an advisory board that included NC IDEA Venture Advisor and IDEA Fund Partners Managing General Partner, John Cambier. Sarda is the fifth NC IDEA grant recipient that has attracted investment from IDEA Fund Partners, joining Oncoscope, NextRay, Automated Insights (formerly StatSheet) and Argyle Social.

“We have gotten to know Bob and Jim better throughout the NC IDEA grant process and have been very impressed by their technology and progress to date,” said John Cambier. “We are happy to now have them in our venture portfolio and look forward to working alongside the team as they bring to market a truly disruptive technology.”

In February, TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TQNT), a leading RF solutions supplier and technology innovator, announced that its Foundry Services division was supporting Sarda to bring a new line of high‐efficiency converter switches to the global marketplace. This support will allow Sarda to utilize TriQuint’s foundry line for the development and production of their product. “TriQuint’s foundry business enables Sarda to quickly and cost-­effectively develop a power semiconductor line,” said Sarda CEO and Co‐Founder Bob Conner.

“The grant funding from NC IDEA provided validation of our early business plan, needed funds for intellectual property protection and enabled us to get to know the team at IDEA Fund Partners at a deeper level,” said Bob Conner. “With this financing, we look forward to supplying customers with our switch products.”

In conjunction with the investment in Sarda, John Cambier will join the board as the IDEA Fund Partners representative.

About IDEA Fund Partners 
With offices in Durham, NC and Orlando, FL, IDEA Fund Partners provides seed and early stage equity funding along with company building expertise to IT, software, materials technologies and medical device companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Currently investing out of its first fund, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in twelve companies since 2007. Learn more at www.ideafundpartners.com.

About Sarda
Founded in 2011, Sarda Technologies, Inc. is a fabless power semiconductor startup based in Durham, NC. Sarda’s products are used in DC-DC voltage converters for portable, enterprise and consumer systems. Sarda’s highly efficient power semiconductors reduce power loss, increase system performance and extend battery life while reducing system size, weight and cost.

About NC IDEA 
NC IDEA, a 501(c)(3) not‐for­â€profit organization, targets promising technology companies that need help bridging the gap between initial product development and venture capital funding. The organization helps young, innovative companies mainly by providing early financing in the form of grants. NC IDEA further supports its grant winning companies by leveraging the organization’s solid partnerships and strategic alliances to assist companies through research phases, business challenges and growth goals. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.