Fallbrook Technologies Files for $50M IPO

2/16/10Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies, a cleantech venture developing a proprietary transmission that offers improved efficiency for a variety of vehicles, intends to raise $50 million through an IPO, according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Fallbrook spokesman declined to comment on the stock offering.

In its filing, Fallbrook says its “NuVinci” design (for a continuously variable “planetary” transmission) can be used in automotive accessory drives (such as air conditioning compressors), and as the primary transmission in electric vehicles, bicycles, riding lawn-mowers, and small wind turbines. While the specific benefits vary with each application, Fallbrook says its technology can lower overall energy costs in each of these areas by improving performance and fuel economy.

The company previously told me its technology also is well-protected by patents, which is unusual because the big three automakers typically dominate technology innovations in the auto industry. In its filing, Fallbrook says it holds 85 U.S patents, and has another 61 pending. It also holds 71 foreign patents, with 147 pending.

The company says it has raised about $55 million from investors since it was officially founded in 2000 as Motion Systems Technologies. It was renamed Fallbrook Technologies in 2004. Individual investors funded Fallbrook’s operations for more than a decade, until the company raised $29.4 million last year in its first venture round. The filing shows that entities associated with Robeco, the investment arm of Rabobank of The Netherlands, have a 24 percent stake in Fallbrook. NGEN Partners, a Santa Barbara cleantech venture firm, holds about 23.7 percent, and entities associated with Qualcomm scion Gary Jacobs have a 12 percent stake.

Fallbrook said it generated almost $2.3 million in revenue in 2008, primarily from … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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