Digital Lumens Bags Growth Capital Buoyed by Internet of Things Buzz

Digital Lumens is showing that an unlikely industry—industrial lighting—can be a high-tech business with room for growth.

The Boston-based company today announced that it’s raised $23 million in a Series C round to fuel its growth geographically and into new product areas.

The round brought in three new investors: Nokia’s venture arm Nokia Growth Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Aster Capital, a venture fund backed by French industrial companies, including Alstom and Schneider Electric. Existing venture investors Flybridge Capital, Black Coral Capital, and Stata Ventures also participated.

The money will be used to bulk up Digital Lumens’ presence overseas and continue development of products outside its base in warehouse lighting, says CEO Tom Pincince.

Pincince

Pincince

The company was started by people from the LED lighting and tech industries to build a connected light fixture. Its primary product, used to illuminate warehouses and other large spaces, combines efficient LED lights and on-board computing and sensors. Using a Web-based app, operators can create schedules and track energy spending. It raised a $10 million Series A in 2010.

The use of LEDs, daylight sensors, and software-set schedules allows warehouse owners to lower their energy costs dramatically compared to existing light types, according to the company.

Its long-term strategy is to displace inefficient lighting with connected, smart fixtures in many types of locations, such as sports arenas, hospitals, or offices, says Pincince. “The company was not founded as a warehouse lighting company but as a smart lighting company,” he says.

Smart lights can also provide the infrastructure for smart building applications, such as providing shoppers with deals on their smartphones while they shop.

Nokia Growth Capital invested as part of the company’s interest in “smart objects,” Pincince says. The investors in Aster Capital, meanwhile, are interested in emerging technologies in the industrial area, such as smart buildings. Digital Lumens has raised $65 million to date.

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