Wind turbine start-up TechnoSpin raises $8m

The company is currently negotiating a number of sales agreements with overseas customers.

Cleantech start-up TechnoSpin Wind Corp. has raised $8 million from US venture capital fund 21 Ventures LLC. The company declined to disclose its valuation for the fund raising round.

TechnoSpin was founded back in 2004 but not incorporated as a company until the end of 2007 at the start of the latest funding round. The company has been funded initially by its three founders, CEO Maxim Rakov, VP business development and administration and interim CFO Natalie Barlev, and Vladimir Kotler, CTO and inventor of the company's technology.

TechnoSpin currently has two areas of activity. One is the development and production of rotors for small wind turbines which, theoretically, should also be suitable for use in large wind turbines. The company is already negotiating the first sales of these products which, it claims, are not limited to areas with strong winds, are cheaper to produce, and can be assembled anywhere in the world. TechnoSpin's small turbines will most likely compete with those produced by the industry's two leading players, Bergey Windpower Co., and Southwest Windpower of the US.

TechnoSpin's other field of activity is the development of wind turbine gears. Turbines are operated by a generator and a gearbox, which produce torque that is then converted into electrical power. The gearbox is, essentially, a mechanical mechanism which enables the torque to be generated with the minimum loss of power.

Globes: How far on are you with the development of the gear?

Rakov: "We now have to move on from a prototype to a product that meets all the requirements. To this end, we will have to test it at one of several international laboratories whose endorsement will be accepted worldwide. We hope to complete the trial and obtain approval within a year.

"Our goal is to launch a pilot with the gear with 11 of the world's leading turbine manufacturers, and if it is a success, the sky's the limit, since it won't be limited solely to wind turbines, but will also be suited for use in aircraft, cars, washing machines, the mining industry, metalworking - any mechanical facility that produces electricity.

"As for the small turbine, we'll be making a launch in May when we erect the first product on our own roof. We've already had initial sales in this project. We're currently negotiating a number of sales with potential customers overseas while in Israel the interest is coming from potential distributors," said Rakov.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 27, 2008

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