Navitas in $1bn SPAC deal

Navitas in $1bn SPAC deal

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Navitas Semiconductor, which is domiciled in Dublin for tax reasons, is to go public in the US via a special vehicle called Live Oak II SPAC Business Combination listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The deal is set to raise $400m for product development and expansion into higher power applications such as data centre, renewable energy and electric vehicles. Navitas says its proprietary and patented GaNFast monolithic power chips support three times faster charging compared to silicon in applications up to 500W. The company has shipped 18m devices to Tier-1 customers include Dell, Lenovo, Xiaomi, OPPO, LG, Amazon and Belkin.

The management team is based in El Segundo, California, having previously worked at International Rectifier, with most of the staff in China. “We are registered in the Republic of Ireland as we are international and we want to follow in the footsteps of other people that are not impacted by national or international politics,” said Steve Oliver, vice president of investor relations and employee #7 at the company. “The majority of people are right now in China. From the original LA HQ we have sites at Shenzen, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul and we are looking to expand in other areas,” he said.

The company has a proprietary process design kit (PDK) and over 120 patents granted or pending and says it has committed foundry production on 200mm wafers at TSMC with packaging at Amkor.

“We started in chargers for several reasons, You get money quickly and it’s a low risk entry point with fast designs,” said Oliver. “At the same time we approached Belkin for chargers we approached Dell. They did a deep dive audit on the technology and factory and that led to the 100W charger and there’s other things in the pipeline with them. What’s happened since then is the confidence from the fast charger market means we go into other markets.”

“With TSMC we have a flexible platform from 80V to 800V and we have been doing some R&D at the lower voltage but the value proposition is at the higher voltage,” said Oliver. “In automotive we are working with several big name companies on on-board chargers, with stackable 3 to 5kW units. We have different versions for 400V and 800V powertrains and a DC-DC converter design to 12 or 48V using the same architecture with the NV6128 in a 3.3kW block in bidirectional charger.”

“Navitas was formed with the vision to revolutionize the world of power electronics,” said Gene Sheridan, co-founder and CEO of Navitas. “Not only has Navitas’ world-class team invented and patented revolutionary new technology, but we have also overcome all the key hurdles associated with successfully bringing it to market. We are proud to enter the public capital markets with strong operating momentum and investor partners who share our enthusiasm for our long-term mission.”

Existing investors Capricorn Investment Group, Atlantic Bridge and seed investor Malibu IQ, along with all current investors and founders are rolling 100 percent of their equity into the existing listing on the NYSE. “With a doubling of electrical energy demand driving the global energy transition, Navitas’ GaN Power ICs are already having a powerful, positive energy efficiency impact, benefiting all of us globally,” said David Moxam, founder of Malibu IQ.

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