$18m invested in Smart LED lighting co Juganu

Eran Ben-Shmuel and Alex Bilchinsky / Photo: Micha Loubaton

Juganu has developed a lighting system that includes the technological infrastructure for a smart city, such as cameras and wireless communications.

Israeli smart city lighting solutions company Juganu has announced that it has raised an $18 million investment led by Comcast Ventures and with the participation of previous investors Viola Growth Fund and Amdocs Ltd. (Nasdaq: DOX). $12 million will go into the company's coffers with the other $6 million purchasing shares from existing investors. The financing was closed several weeks ago at the start of the global crisis. To date the company has raised $46 million.

This latest investment comes less than a year after the company completed a $23 million financing round. Juganu cofounder and CEO Eran Ben Shmuel said that Comcast, Viola Growth and Amdocs wanted to increase their holdings in the company and asked to increase their investment after they saw the strong demand worldwide for the Juganu's solutions and that its 2019 revenue was higher than expected. They had actually wanted to invest an even higher sum but that would have diluted the holdings of the existing shareholders. Ben-Shmuel said that the company's revenues were tens of millions of dollars.

Juganu was founded in 2011 by Ben-Shmuel and Alex Bilchinsky, who had previously developed a fast cooking oven but had left the company following a dispute with the third founder. Juganu has developed a smart LED lighting system that also includes the technological infrastructure for a smart city, which includes cameras and wireless communications. The solutions are also relevant for buildings such as shopping malls and supermarkets. The lighting itself resembles the full spectrum of sunlight and provides quality lighting with more savings than solutions currently found on the market. The lighting units are connected to each other through a wideband wireless network, which does not depend on existing networks. The company is collaborating with Qualcomm in order to adapt its chips for the network.

Ben-Shmuel told "Globes" that, "the deployment of 5G networks is very expensive and might not be worthwhile from an economic point of view. We allow the advantages but without needing to deploy such a network." Ben-Shmuel also spoke about the connection between the sophisticated lighting and the systems of a smart city. "What is special about this LED lighting is that we wanted to give value to customers who wanted to install our system. The interest of other manufacturers is to produce cheaply and sell cheaply. But we want the infrastructure to be good. In order to do this, the system needs to include the lighting and the cameras as one complete system."

Juganu usually works with companies implementing smart city projects and its revenue are comprised of two components: income from implementing the project and subscriptions dependent on the number of features that the customer uses. For example, the customer can choose to use facial recognition software and other platforms, some developed by Juganu itself and others by outside companies.

Speaking about the impact of the coronavirus crisis, Ben-Shmuel said, "The crisis teaches us that we need to use our resources more correctly and healthier and more cost-savings lighting fits in with this. In addition, agencies will want more control over matters and will also have a better understanding of what data there is and how they can use it. We can also help save the initial high investment in deploying 5G and this is an opportunity for us. In terms of our employees, the company hasn't taken any dramatic steps. We are trying to manage ourselves correctly so that we have been obligated, for example, to freeze all new hirings."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 16, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Eran Ben-Shmuel and Alex Bilchinsky / Photo: Micha Loubaton
Eran Ben-Shmuel and Alex Bilchinsky / Photo: Micha Loubaton
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