Bright View gets $4 million assist

Intersouth invests as products roll

Staff WriterApril 23, 2009 

Bright View Technologies has raised $4 million to boost the manufacturing and marketing of its first products.

The Morrisville-based company, founded in 2003 using technology licensed from Duke University, began shipping its first product -- a component for LED lighting fixtures -- at the end of last year.

Next up is a component for portable, battery-powered LCD displays used in products such as laptop computers and cell phones. That is scheduled to ship this summer, said Douglas Adams, vice president of business development and marketing.

The latest investment in the 45-employee company was led by Durham venture capital firm Intersouth Partners, a first-time investor in Bright View. To date, Bright View has raised $34 million in financing.

Bright View has bucked the odds with its latest outside financing. Last quarter, six Triangle companies raised $17.5million in venture capital, the lowest amount in at least 10 years. "There is still capital available for companies with a proven technology and an identified market that are ready to sell things," Intersouth's Kip Frey said.

Frey said that Intersouth always liked Bright View's potential. "They have a technology that really no one else has," he said.

But, until now, the timing wasn't right for Intersouth to invest. One difference today is that the company has advanced from a development-stage company to one that is jumping into the market with attractive products.

Bright View's products employ its patented optical films -- thin sheets of plastic -- that are engineered to reduce cost and enhance viewing.

The component Bright View makes for LED lighting fixtures enables those fixtures to provide a "unified glow" similar to traditional lighting without reducing the light output, Adams said. He said that the product has been well-received in the market but declined to provide sales figures.

Its upcoming product for battery-powered LED displays is cost-effective because it reduces the number of films needed. That also allows thinner displays, which is important in the portable market, Adams said.

Bright View is manufacturing its products in Morrisville. The company expects to add several employees this year as it increases production.

"It won't be a large number," Adams said. "Our processes are highly automated."

david.ranii@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4877

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