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Orion Energy completes $5M capital round

Plymouth, Wis. - Orion Energy Systems, a designer and manufacturer of energy management products, will use a portion of new venture funding to develop and deploy new technologies and solutions for U.S. businesses in search of large energy efficiency improvements.

The Technology Transformation Venture Fund, a fund managed by the Columbus-based investment advisory firm Custer Capital, and the Capvest Venture Fund of New Albany, Ohio with offices in Madison and Sussex, Wis., made the Series C investment as part of Orion's $5 million financing round.

That round was led by a $4.5 million investment in August by Expansion Capital Partners, LLC, a venture firm focused on expansion-stage, clean energy enterprises based in New York and San Francisco.

Neal Verfuerth, Orion's CEO and president, said the investment validates Orion's technology, innovation expertise, and business model. Privately held, Orion has more than 380 stockholders, does business with 60 Fortune 1,000 companies, and was recently named one of the 500 fastest-growing companies by Inc. magazine.

"We believe that Orion Energy Systems is poised for additional growth, and our investment will help them with new market development and expansion," said Daryll Lund, president and CEO of Community Bankers of Wisconsin, a group that represents 225 Wisconsin community banks with approximately 900 banking offices.
Capvest, a small business investment company, was formed to increase the amount of equity capital available to growth companies in the Midwest.

William Custer, managing director of Capvest, said the large domestic lighting market, combined with Orion's intellectual property protection and innovative business culture, made the deal appealing.

"The timing for our investment was right," Custer said.

Orion touts energy efficiency

In the last year, Orion's lighting systems helped customers save more than $37 million and 600 million kilowatt hours, the company said.

Orion also said its current installations prevent 11.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from being emitted into the atmosphere over the lifetime of the fixture, the equivalent of 3.2 million tons of carbon.

The savings in electricity usage is the environmental equivalent of removing 1.7 million cars from the road, saving 992 million gallons of gasoline, or 23.6 million barrels of oil, Orion claims.

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