FlexEnable Ltd. (Cambridge, England), a developer of flexible organic electronics, has raised $11 million in Series B financing with additional options.
The funding was led by LCD backlight module maker Coretronic Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and the strategic investment includes options for a further $14 million to fund the production ramp of flexible displays at manufacturing partners in Asia.
The funds will also be used to expand FlexEnable’s organic materials production capacity to meet the needs of display manufacturing partners entering volume production.
FlexEnable is the renamed R&D portion of what was PlasticLogic Ltd. It has now offering its FlexiOM organic semiconductor materials and a set of processes based on them that can be used to make flexible organic LCD displays (OLCD) and liquid crystal optical films (LC Optics) in existing display fabs.
The technology allows almost any surface to display information or steer, modulate and focus light, the company claims. It is also compatible with glass-based production lines allowing established factories to make use of the technology on under-utilized production lines.
Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said in a statement that attracting Coretronic’s support validated FlexEnable’s technology and business model. “We are very excited to have strong new investors on board, and very grateful for the on-going support from Rusnano and Novares, who have been instrumental in enabling us to develop our technology and great commercial projects over the past years,” he added.
Heading to Asia
Rusnano is the Russian sovereign wealth. It cut a deal to invest in Plastic Logic and build a volume production factory for plastic displays in Zelenograd (see Russian organic electronics factory gets production-ready). Novares Groupe is French automotive plastics company that invested in FlexEnable in 2018 (see FlexEnable moves into smart automotive surfaces).
FlexEnable offers its FlexiOM organic semiconductor materials and manufacturing process IP to Asian flat-panel display production lines. It does this via licensing and contract manufacturing arrangements.
The company said it has four technology transfer programs underway with leading display manufacturers in Asia. Volume production from the first of these is due to start in 2H22.
“The FlexEnable technology can enable new functionalities in lighter, thinner and even curved devices, and we look forward to working with the FlexEnable team to bring these new products into volume production.” commented Sarah Lin, president of Coretronic, in FlexEnable’s statement.
“The next 12 months are very exciting with the first of a series of manufacturing partnerships entering volume production, bringing recurring revenues and rapid revenue scale-up,” added Milligan.
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