Light Blue Optics raises US$15 million in Series 'A' Extension
**Extension to accelerate product development roadmap across multiple markets** / **Paul Goodridge, former Financial Director of CSR plc, joins Company as CFO**
Light Blue Optics' holographic laser projection technology delivers vibrant colours and focus-free operation, whilst maintaining the Class 1 laser safety classification essential to consumer electronics applications. Uniquely, the projection system can be touch-enabled, meaning any flat surface such as a table can be instantly transformed into a touch-sensitive display, eliminating the need for a touch screen and allowing users to interact with multi-media content in new and exciting ways.
Dr. Claus Schmidt, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Venture Capital said; "RBVC has a remit to invest in technologies of ground-breaking strategic importance and LBO has all the characteristics of a great investment. The Company impressed us with their potential to create and capture a new product category of mobile, energy-efficient, interactive displays. Their proprietary technology will open up entirely new applications and revenue opportunities in markets such as consumer electronics and we are pleased to join the existing investors in supporting this exciting venture."
LBO also announced today the hire of Paul Goodridge as Chief Financial Officer. Paul brings with him 20 years of financial management experience and an impressive track record for company growth. Prior to joining LBO, Paul was Director of Finance at CSR plc for 8 years, managing the company's migration from being venture-backed, through to its floatation on the London Stock Exchange and subsequent promotion to the FTSE 250.
Light Blue Optics' CFO, Paul Goodridge said; "It's rare to find an early-stage company with the highgrowth profile of LBO. The Company has clear competitive advantage, excellent customer traction and a vast market opportunity. I am delighted to become part of the LBO team at this exciting time, and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to build significant value."
Light Blue Optics' CEO, Dr. Chris Harris added; "This $15 million financing round will enable LBO to accelerate its product development roadmap and address a wider range of applications. It's a very exciting opportunity, not least in the consumer electronics space where the market for pico projectors has been forecast to exceed US$1 billion within 5 years. We now have the world-beating technology, experienced team and strong investor syndicate in place to realise that opportunity and become the world's leading supplier of miniature projection systems."
Light Blue Optics (www.lightblueoptics.com)
Light Blue Optics (LBO) is a privately-owned developer and supplier of miniature projection systems.
Based on the Company's patented holographic laser projection technology, LBO systems deliver high-quality video images that remain in focus at all distances. Their efficiency, small form factor, robustness and cost advantages make them ideally suited for deployment in multiple markets including automotive, industrial and consumer electronics.
LBO is funded by a group of investors including 3i Group plc., Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Earlybird Venture Capital and Capital-E.
Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (www.rbvc.com)
Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) is the corporate venture company of the Robert Bosch GmbH, one of the largest private companies worldwide with more than €45.1 billion ($60 billion) of sales. Founded in 1886, Bosch is a leading global supplier of automotive, industrial technology, consumer goods and building technology.
RBVC invests in start-up companies either directly or via venture capital funds on a worldwide basis. Investment focus: Technology companies along the line of Bosch current and future business. RBVC provides capital for minority stakes in start-ups from early to expansion stage.
3i Group plc (www.3i.com)
3i is an international leader in private equity. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Infrastructure and invest across Europe, Asia and North America. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio, shareholders and fund investors.
Capital-E is an early stage venture fund focused exclusively on micro- and nanoelectronics related ventures in Europe. We help initiate and grow businesses with venture capital, sound advice and access to a broad industry network and research ecosystem. Through its entrenched relationship with IMEC, the largest independent research centre in micro- and nano-electronics in Europe, the fund and its ventures can directly rely on the support of over 1500 specialised scientists and engineers, as well as leverage on IMEC's 500+ worldwide industrial partners such as NXP, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Intel, Panasonic, Texas Instruments, Samsung and TSMC to speed up the process of market entry. The fund is managed by an independent team with a balanced mix of entrepreneurial, industrial and VC experience.
NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts. Its mission is to transform the UK's capacity for innovation. NESTA Investments has the largest portfolios of early-stage businesses in the country and is a leading authority on how to grow new ideas. We have strict investment criteria, and work with companies that have high potential for growth, are at seed or start-up stage, and have the potential to attract syndicated support. When we do invest, we aim to maximise our investment by assigning mentors, part-time managers or specialist support. We also stimulate imaginative solutions to pressing social issues and shape policy to help the UK meet its national innovation challenges.
Earlybird Venture Capital Gmbh & Co KG
Earlybird Venture Capital was established in 1997 and is one of the most successful European venture investors with over €400M under management. Earlybird invests in innovative, fast growing companies with outstanding management teams and high growth potential on international markets within the sectors software, semi-conductor technology, information and communication technology, internet based services, cleantech and medtech. Earlybird's portfolio currently includes more than 20 companies in seven European countries. Since inception Earlybird has invested in more than 58 companies.
Earlybird supports and accelerates entrepreneurial success while offering entrepreneurs profound experience in setting up young businesses and supporting companies from the cradle to profitability. Six of Earlybird's technology companies have floated on four different European stock exchanges: Interhyp, Tipp24, Wilex, Esmertec, Entelos and NoemaLife. Additionally, Earlybird successfully sold its shareholding in element 5, Identify, Alantos, AbaXX, amaxa, dooyoo and Purple Labs.