M Ventures, the strategic corporate venture capital fund of Merck (Darmstadt, Germany), has made an investment in the C Round of CLEARink Displays (Fremont, CA). CLEARink started its C Round of investment mid 2017 with investments by China-based strategic investors involved in the electronic display industry. Following this, additional investments were received from the US and Taiwan. This latest investment from M Ventures marks the end of the C Round. The C Round, which was oversubscribed, paves the way for the company to focus on bringing its first reflective color display products to market.
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CLEARink has developed ePaper 2.0, the world's first reflective display that will be color and video/internet capable.The company targets the education and wearable markets, where traditional display technologies are not a fit. The company has been seeing great traction in the education market, as concerns are growing about the lack of outdoor readability with traditional displays, forcing children to be educated in daylight deprived classrooms, and the detrimental impact of long-term exposure to backlights.
CLEARink closed its first round in 2012 and a second funding round in 2015. This third or C round of financing was specifically targeted at strategic investors. The proceeds from this round are intended to take the company through the trial-manufacturing phase and to mass production. CLEARink is currently running manufacturing trials in Shenzhen, China.
"We are delighted that M Ventures has decided to join our group of distinguished investors. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany had already been investing in our joint development since 2012 with a further development agreement signed in 2017, but the fact that they now took an equity stake in our company through their venture fund is a further endorsement of our success potential," said Frank Christiaens, CEO and chairman, CLEARink Displays.
The M Venturesmandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck’s core business areas. The company takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success.
CLEARink develops reflective display technology for eSchoolbooks, Wearables, IoT, electronic shelf labels (ESLs), outdoor signage, and automotive applications. CLEARink's patent-protected TIR technology is an alternative to existing reflective displays, providing video and color representation using a fraction of the energy consumed by LCD displays, with a highly competitive cost structure. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $20 million dollars in financing from strategic investors in the display industry.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group.
SOURCE: Thomas PR; http://www.thomas-pr.com/clearink/clearinkmventuresrelease.html