Light Blue Optics (LBO), the industry-leading developer of holographic laser projection technology, today announced closing a US$26 million Series 'A' funding round, led by Earlybird Venture Capital and Capital-E. Existing investors 3i plc, who led LBO's US$3.5 million seed-funding round, and NESTA also participated.
News of this Series 'A' funding round follows LBO's release of engineering samples to key customers and strategic development partners from July 2007. The money will enable LBO to accelerate its product development and commercialisation programme towards the high-volume manufacture of miniature projection systems for deployment in a range of markets including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics. The Company estimates that the total available market for miniature projection systems will exceed $5 billion by 2012.
Founded in 2004, LBO has developed an innovative holographic laser projection technology that allows full colour, high-quality video images to be projected onto flat or curved surfaces. LBO's novel approach to projection delivers a unique combination of enabling features including an ultra-wide throw angle, in-built laser speckle reduction, infinite focus, low power consumption, no moving parts and a robust design that naturally lends itself to miniaturisation and low cost manufacture.
Earlybird Partner, Wolfgang Seibold said, "LBO has all the hallmarks of a great investment; an innovative technology with distinct competitive advantage in a range of high-volume markets, coupled with a strong IP portfolio and a talented team. The Company is an excellent fit for Earlybird's latest investment fund and we are pleased to announce our participation in this important financing round."
3i Director, Stephen Lowery added, "This $26 million investment is one of the most significant European Series 'A' investments in the last five years - testament to the remarkable progress LBO has made with its partners and customers over the past 12 months. Having supported the Company since its seed-round, we are delighted to demonstrate our continued support with this additional investment."
Capital-E Partner, Rudi Severijns commented, "LBO impressed us with its unique holographic laser projection technology which we believe can take a significant share of a rapidly emerging market for miniature projection systems. LBO clearly has the potential to become industry leaders, and Capital-E is pleased to join the Company's existing investors."