Polyera has secured $24.5MM in Series C funding in a round led by Chengwei Capital and Tsing Capital, and joined by all existing investors including Solvay, an international group active in chemistry.
The company plans to use the funds to accelerate development activities while making a major investment in its Asia-Pacific operations in preparation for market launch.
Polyera's core technology enables the fabrication of semiconductor-based products on flexible substrates such as plastic. As a result, products such as flat panel displays or solar panels which were traditionally manufactured with glass can be made much lighter, thinner and more robust. Because Polyera's semiconductor materials are truly flexible themselves, they enable the production of displays that can fold or roll-up, allowing for radically new product designs.
Display technologies from LCDs and OLEDs to touch panels have been fundamental in enabling post-PC devices such as smartphones and tablets. Product designs, however, continue to be greatly limited by compromises between display size and overall device size and weight. This limitation is becoming more relevant as users perform an increasingly broad range of tasks on post-PC devices. Flexible displays will not only greatly reduce the weight and thickness of devices, but will allow for the first time the production of small ultra-portable devices with displays that can fold or roll out as needed.
"Imagine being able to design smartphones that can keep their current weight and dimensions, but could incorporate displays which can expand into two or three times their original surface area," said Philippe Inagaki, Founder and CEO of Polyera. "Or imagine having an ultra-light and thin, unbreakable display you could wear around your wrist while skiing or rock-climbing. Analysts are forecasting sales of over 600 million smartphones and 100 million tablets in 2012, but this is just the beginning of the post-PC era. Displays are really at the heart of post-PC devices, and flexible displays are going to fuel the revolution by redefining product design rules."
"We are delighted to be in a position to support Polyera during its next stage of growth", said Michael Li, Partner at Tsing Capital. "What impressed us about Polyera is the combination of the team's depth of understanding in both technology innovation and manufacturing constraints. As a result, we believe Polyera has developed a technology platform which is both revolutionary and scalable, and will shape next-generation devices."
Also attend Printed Electronics USA, December 5-6, 2012.