Fallbrook Technologies Gets $35M To Boost Its Transmission System

12/4/13Follow @angelashah

Fallbrook Technologies, a suburban Austin automotive cleantech company, announced Wednesday it had secured a $35 million loan.

The company is initially drawing down on $25 million of the total and will use most of this to continue development and licensing on its NuVinci transmission, which it says is a greener and more fuel-efficient transmission technology for cars, trucks, and other types of vehicles.

“This reinforces our balance sheet and will enable us to negotiate licensing deals from a stronger financial position,” Bill Klehm, Fallbrook’s CEO, said in a press statement.

White Oak Global Advisors, based in San Francisco, provided the funds. In the past 15 years, Fallbrook has raised about $115 million in investments from angels, venture capital firms, and two partners: Dana Holding, based in Maumee, OH, and Allison Transmission, which is in Indianapolis, IN.

The Texas company formed strategic partnerships with Dana and Allison in September 2012. Dana is a worldwide supplier of axles, driveshafts, and other vehicle components, while Allison makes commercial duty transmission and hybrid propulsion systems.

Fallbrook, which moved to Cedar Park, TX, earlier this year from San Diego, has sold more than 100,000 bicycle transmissions that use its technology and it has licensed it to automotive suppliers for use in heavy and light-duty trucks, passenger cars, and heavy-duty off-highway vehicles.

Unlike conventional transmissions which use gears with fixed-speed ratios, Fallbrook says its a continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses a mechanism that can change ratios seamlessly as a drive train accelerates or decelerates.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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