Canatu Oy has received 22 million euros late stage funding via a series of investments of 10 million EUR and a loan of 12 million EUR from the European Investment Bank. This investment is one of the largest investments in a Finnish startup. The funding will enable Canatu to respond to solid market demand and to invest heavily in R&D and manufacturing expansion. Plans also include the construction of a new, larger factory. Canatu is committed to supporting the Finnish economy with its expansion plans. The company currently employs 40 people worldwide and its headquarters and production facilities are located in Helsinki, Finland. The company expects to double its employee headcount and has already started an aggressive recruitment campaign.
Canatu started operations in 2008 as a spin-off from the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University). Canatu's founding partners - leading senior materials, characterization and aerosol technology scientists - developed and invented a new carbon nanomaterial, the Carbon NanoBud® (CNB), which is a hybrid of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. They also invented a novel CNB thin film manufacturing technology, Direct Dry Printing® (DDP). Aalto University Professor Esko Kauppinen, one of the founders and a Canatu Board Member, says: "I have had the great pleasure to see the company evolve from a research lab to entering the market and beginning commercial manufacturing. Canatu is an exemplary success story in the field of nanotechnology." In 2012, Canatu was the first in the world to demonstrate roll-to-roll manufacturing of carbon nanomaterials directly on substrate using its DDP machine. Canatu started mass production deliveries in 2015. After more than a year in series production for a demanding automotive customer, without any field returns and with an excellent quality record, Canatu is ready to take the next steps to expand its capacity for leading edge products targeted at innovative consumer electronics brands and leading automotive companies.
Canatu manufactures flexible, bendable and 3D formable thin films and touch sensors. Canatu is a technology leader in its market. Canatu's competitive edge is the extreme flexibility of its products, an unmatched characteristic compared to other materials. Canatu's CNB material bends, folds and stretches without losing conductivity. Combined with next generation flexible displays, Canatu's products offer consumer electronics companies and automotive designers an unprecedented opportunity to enhance their products and consumer experiences. The Finnish company is pioneering the flexible display touch market, which is estimated to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Canatu's customers are leading consumer electronics and automotive brands and their Tier 1 suppliers. Canatu's products are found in a range of flexible devices such as wearables, wrist computers, smart watches, smart cards, foldable tablets, and in curved and 3D shaped touch surfaces in automotive center consoles and game controllers.
The investment comes from a range of new and existing investors such as Inventure and Infosto Group. The latest significant investor is a major global automotive company. "Inventure has been behind Canatu since 2010. We have followed Canatu every step of the way and are extremely excited with the multiple, exciting and innovative projects it is currently involved in with industry-leading brands. Canatu's technology is now steps ahead of its peers", says Sami Lampinen, Managing Director of Inventure and Chairman of the Board at Canatu.
Source and top image: Canatu