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Raydiance raises $20M for lasers, lasers everywhere

Laser maker Raydiance has picked up $20 million more in its quest to manufacture lasers for everyday commercial use in medicine, manufacturing, energy and other fields.

Raydiance’s lasers are a type called ultrashort pulse (USP) lasers, which pulse light on the femtosecond time scale — a method that can help keep excess heat from building up, thus preventing damage to surrounding material. But the company’s real innovation, it claims, is in making lasers easier to acquire and use.

When Raydiance first started talking about its products, it focused on the fact that its lasers were many times smaller and easier to use than the USP lasers previously available. Now the company has added another marketing message: That it can also build many times as many as other manufacturers, making the devices far more accessible.

The technology could ultimately be used to cut, slice and modify nearly any material. However, it’s immediately accessible for uses like cutting thin-film solar cells and less-invasive surgical techniques, such as placing stents in heart patients.

The investment was led by Greenstreet Partners, with previous investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson joining. The company has taken $55 million to date, split between four venture rounds and one government grant.

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