That’s cool: Durham’s Phononic secures $50M strategic investment from Goldman Sachs

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DURHAM – Phononic has secured a $50 million strategic growth investment from the sustainable investing business of Goldman Sachs, the company announced today in a statement.

The company noted that the funding will allow it to expand sales and marketing efforts, boost global manufacturing capabilities, and expand its product portfolio.

“With millions of high-performance thermoelectric devices already in use around the globe, and tens of thousands of solid-state refrigerators and freezers in the field, Phononic’s technology and products are mission critical to the way we communicate; feed our families; safeguard and transport life-saving vaccines; and even shop for our favorite ice cream snacks,” said Tony Atti, Phononic Co-founder and CEO. “This support from Goldman Sachs is a validation of our team’s continued focus and dedication to making a transformative environmental impact.”

The company commercially launched the Phononic F200 Merchandising Freezer and Phononic C200 Merchandising Refrigerator in 2019, which are powered by thermoelectric chips to deliver “precise temperature control and energy efficiency.”

According to the company, with a warming global climate exacerbated by “a voracious appetite for cooling, refrigeration, and air conditioning,” humanity is facing a crisis.

The company said that continuing on this path, unchecked, that by 2045 leaked refrigerants alone would contribute as much to CO2 emissions as automobiles would, and predicted that the 92% of the 3 billion people currently living in hot, humid climates globally that do not have access to air conditioning will continue to want, then gain, access to cooling systems.

The company is aiming to reduce leaked refrigerants, and developed solid-state cooling and refrigeration solutions.  The company noted that its sustainability metrics are central to how it navigates its product development and the company’s growth in Optolelectronics (Fiber Optic Communications/5G/LIDAR); Cold Chain Fulfillment (ecommerce ecosystem); and Technology Licensing (vaccine protection, cold chain and retail merchandising, and climate control).

Durham startup Phononic begins mass production of ‘sustainable’ freezers, refrigerators

The company had previously raised two rounds in excess of $40 million: in 2014, the company closed a Series D round of $44.5 million, and added $71 million in 2016.  The company was founded in 2008.

“We recognize the critical role cooling and refrigeration plays in the planet’s long term sustainability and climate viability, and we’re excited to invest in Phononic to further Goldman Sachs’ broader sustainability commitments,” said Jeff Possick, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in a statement. “Phononic’s solid-state solutions are delivering performance and sustainability not available through legacy thermoelectric or compressor incumbents, and our investment aims to help grow and expand their capabilities to meet anticipated demand.”