Electronics startup SmartD Technologies powers up with $14.2-million Series A

SmartD Technologies
Startup looks to reinvent motor control with Clean Power VFD.

Montréal-based power electronics startup SmartD Technologies has raised $14.2 million in Series A financing. 

The round, announced by the startup this week, was led by Investissement Québec, with participation from Hammond Power Solutions and existing investors Boreal Ventures and SE Ventures. 

“SmartD’s technologies will contribute to the modernization, sustainability and efficiency of a host of players operating in a wide range of industries.”

Bicha Ngo, Investissement Québec

SmartD Technologies develops variable frequency drives (VFD) for motor control. A VFD is a type of motor controller that powers an electric motor by changing the frequency and voltage of its power supply, and is used in a number of industrial and infrastructure sectors. By adjusting the motor’s speed to match the required load, VFDs can drastically reduce the energy consumption of motors.

Revenue in the global VFD market size was estimated to be worth $21.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $36.79 billion by 2032.

According to SmartD, motor VFDs offer both energy savings and increased control in many industries, but tend to generate excessive vibrations, noise, and heat. 

SmartD’s Clean Power VFD combines three technologies designed to power motors more smoothly and give them better performance: silicon carbide transistors, multi-level inverters, and modulation and control algorithms. The Clean Power VFD delivers a sine wave—a smooth, continuous waveform—to minimize harmonic distortion and improve the lifespan of equipment.

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The startup was founded in 2018 by CEO Simon Leblond and CTO Simon Caron, who had both previously co-founded SCL Medtech in 2004 and SCL Elements in 2009. The latter, which developed controllers for building automation, was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2013.

The startup claims its Clean Power VFD can increase motor efficiency, reduce wear and tear on equipment, save energy, and lower costs for organizations across many industries, including infrastructure, utilities, agriculture, mining, transportation, among others.

“SmartD’s technologies will contribute to the modernization, sustainability and efficiency of a host of players operating in a wide range of industries, here and abroad,” Bicha Ngo, president and CEO of Investissement Québec, said in a statement.

The new funding will be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of higher-power versions of SmartD’s VFD.

Feature image courtesy SmartD Technologies.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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