Transphorm Lands $4M Investment Deal with Yaskawa Electric

January 11, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

Japanese power electronics firm Yaskawa Electric Corporation will invest $4 million in California-based GaN-based power conversion product provider Transphorm.

Transphorm recently announced a new $4 million investment from Yaskawa Electric, part of a multi-year development agreement. The two firms initially partnered in 2017, starting with a $15 million investment from Yaskawa. The firm also released its integrated servo motors with Transphorm’s high-voltage GaN technology.


Images courtesy of Transphorm and Yaskawa. 
Images courtesy of Transphorm and Yaskawa. 


Through the new agreement, Yaskawa will use Transphorm’s Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices for industrial power conversion applications, starting with servo motors and variable frequency drives. 

Transphorm Co-Founder and CTO Umesh Mishra stated in a press release that the long-term partnership with Yaskawa assisted with the development of Transphorm’s GaN FET platforms, resulting in high-performance power devices for industrial and motor control applications and other market segments.

“The device development under this contract will further enhance the specifications of Transphorm’s products, while maintaining our best-in-class quality and reliability,” Mishra added. “These enhanced product features will make our new GaN products appealing for servo drives for robotics and motion control as well as a broader range of industrial and white goods applications.”

Transphorm already has a presence in Japan, where Yaskawa is based. The California-based company established a high-volume wafer fab in Japan as a joint venture with Fujitsu. The facility can handle tens of millions of GaN parts per year, according to the company. The facility kicked off mass production in 2015.

Yaskawa is one of four strategic investors backing Transphorm. Others include automotive parts supplier Marelli, Netherlands-based semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia and U.S.-based investment firm KKR.

In 2019, Transphorm landed an $18.5 million, three-year contract to supply GaN epiwafers for the U.S. Office of Naval Research’s radio frequency and power electronics applications used by the Department of Defense. 

In March, the company raised $21.5 million in private equity financing after completing a reverse merger with Delaware-based Peninsula Acquisition Corporation, making Transphorm a public, wholly-owned subsidiary of the firm. The merger supported the expansion of the company’s GaN power conversion business, which targets end markets such as power adapters, data center and communications infrastructure, industrial applications, automotive and electric vehicle charging. In 2019, Transphorm’s products generated $11.9 million in revenue.

In late-July, Transphorm commenced trading on the over-the-counter market (under the symbol TGAN). Shares are currently valued at around $3.60, as of Dec. 29.