Solid-state fridge pioneer Phononic secures $30 million in funding to expand reach

phononic raises 30 million in funding solid state refrigerators phononic3
Phononic
For years, the North Carolina-based startup Phononic has been a mainstay at trade shows and events, touting its innovative lineup of solid-state refrigerators. While it has made the television rounds on programs like CNBC’s Mad Money, few have seen any of its refrigerators in action because they are mainly used by hospitals and science labs. That may soon change as the company announced it has secured $30 million in equity funding to help bring its fridges to more people and expand the business internationally. The funding also figures to be used to help Phononic continue using its cutting-edge refrigerator and electronic tech in the future.

For those unaware of what makes Phononic revolutionary, it comes down to semiconductors. A mainstay in devices like LED lights or computers like Apple’s MacBook Air, Phononic turned to the tech for its refrigerators. What it found was that a fridge boasting a semiconductor could bypass the need for cooling liquid, moving parts, and compressors, while giving it the ability to operate at a literal whisper. Moreover, the inclusion of such thermoelectric tech means Phononic’s line of fridges could run on 25 percent less energy than a standard model and cost roughly the same.

Phononic CEO Tony Atti
Phononic CEO Tony Atti Phononic

“The beauty of the semiconductor innovation behind Phononic is we’re leveraging what semiconductors have done many times before,” Phononic CEO Tony Atti said on Mad Money. “The transistor’s given us the IT world, the LED chip has taken out Mr. Edison’s light bulb. You’ve seen no change in compressors, heat sinks, and fans going on 100 years despite servicing $30 billion in global markets.”

With its latest round of funding, Phononic received contributions from such companies like Venrock, Oak Investment Partners, Tsing Capital, and Rex Healthcare Ventures, among others. Joining Phononic’s board of directors in lieu of the contributions are GGV Capital’s Jenny Lee and CI Financial’s chairman, Bill Holland. Phononic says it also plans to add roughly 20 additional salespeople and customer care agents to its current team in the next year, while also focusing on improving deliveries and manufacturing in the United States and China.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Smart Home

Perlick brings a bigger, bolder version of its high-tech fridge to KBIS 2019

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Perlick has been making refrigerators for nearly 50 years. It will be unveiling a bigger, bolder version of its popular column refrigerator at KBIS 2019.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Gaming

Take some time to reminisce with the 25 best Sega Genesis games of all time

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
News

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Smart Home

Amazon may be close to opening its first cashier-free store outside U.S.

Amazon could be on the verge of opening its first cashier-free store outside of the U.S. after a recent report claimed the company has secured retail space for a location in central London.
News

Ready for his close-up: Another man was caught licking a Ring video doorbell

A man in Lake Worth, Florida was caught on film licking a family's video doorbell. This makes the second incident like this in just over a month, after another doorbell licker was caught in California.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Roomba Robot Vacuums for Presidents’ Day

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and Walmart has already begun dropping prices on Roomba, Shark, and Eufy robot vacuums. For a limited time, you can save as much as $150 on a brand-new iRobot Roomba.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Smart Home

Your office is a mess, and it’s making Marie Kondo cry. Here’s how to tidy it up

Here's how to "Marie Kondo" your office. If you've been inspired to remove clutter and create a minimalistic workspace that makes you happy and helps you focus on what matters, then we have ideas that you'll want to try.