Petaluma laser developer Raydiance on Tuesday said it has raised an additional $20 million, an infusion of money that will allow the 9-year-old company to ramp up manufacturing.
The funding round was led by Samsung Venture Investment Corp., the investment arm of consumer technology giant Samsung Group.
"We are investing in Raydiance to ensure that these solutions are available for a variety of high-volume manufacturing applications," Jay Chong, investment director at Samsung Ventures, said in a statement.
Raydiance has developed a high-power, ultra-fast laser platform that vaporizes matter without generating heat, creating new ways to fashion exotic materials with precision.
"The demand for smaller, smarter devices continues to grow," Chong said. "Raydiance solutions have the potential to significantly improve existing manufacturing processes and to enable exciting new products."
The laser technology is already being used by manufacturing companies to make everything from fuel injectors in car engines to tiny stents that open arteries in the human body.
"The precision and economics possible with Raydiance solutions continue to grab market attention," Dick Pierce, Raydiance president and CEO, said in a statement. "We're discovering new possibilities every day."
Samsung's co-investors for the financing round included existing Raydiance investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ-Growth and Greenstreet Partners.
The company has now raised $75 million since its inception, said Bill Peatman, director of marketing. It manufactures its product in Petaluma and began selling its products in 2008, primarily to manufacturers where precision is critical, he said.
"It shoots the light so fast that the material it's hitting doesn't have time to get hot," Peatman said. "So it removes material without damaging the material at all."
That makes manufacturing more efficient by reducing the post-laser processing, he said.
The company's staff, which numbered 40 in May 2011, has grown by 50 percent since the beginning of 2012, and that growth is expected to continue, Peatman said. An exact staffing number wasn't available, he said. Job openings in Petaluma in accounting and project management or as a temporary laser technician are posted on its website.
Raydiance, founded in Florida in 2003, acquired the core technology from the University of Central Florida's laser program, which had been working on a short-pulse project in cooperation with the Defense Department.
The company is currently working with NASA Ames Research Center and using its ultra-fast lasers in space experiments to learn how space affects biological systems and to improve diagnostics.
You can reach Staff Writer Cathy Bussewitz at 521-5276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.