$100m funding creates new electronics industry according to Hauser
Plastic Logic has raised $100m (£51.4m), one of the largest financings in the history of European venture capital, to commercialise what it describes as the first “take anywhere, read anywhere” electronic reader products.As part of the push to market, it announced it will be building the first factory to manufacture plastic electronics on a commercial scale.
Plastic Logic's home town of Cambridge lost out to Dresden in the ‘Silicon Saxony’ region of eastern Germany in what the company says was a global site selection process.
Further big bucks could be on their way for the company, with the figure raised so far merely a first closing. The round was led by Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Investment Corporation. Existing investors Amadeus, which led the seed financing of Plastic Logic, Intel Capital, Bank of America, BASF Venture Capital, Quest for Growth and Merifin Capital also participated.
Hermann Hauser, director of Amadeus said: “Having backed Plastic Logic from day one, I am delighted that the first full commercialization of plastic electronics is now firmly in our sights.
“With this investment we are not only scaling up a great company - we are also creating a new electronics industry that will become a significant addition to silicon.”
The Dresden facility will produce display modules for portable electronic reader devices – a product category that is predicted to grow to 41.6 million units in 2010. It will have an initial capacity of more than a million display modules per year, with production starting in 2008.
“Our displays will enable electronic reader products that are as comfortable and natural to read as paper whether you’re on a beach, in a train or relaxing on the sofa at home.” said John Mills, chief operating officer at Plastic Logic.
“Wireless connectivity will allow you to purchase and download a book or pick up the latest edition of your newspaper wherever you are and whenever you need it. The battery will last for thousands of pages so you can leave your charger at home.”
“Even in this age of pervasive digital content, our research shows that consumers are very reluctant to read on laptops, phones and PDAs,” said Simon Jones, the company's VP of product development.
“We still carry around enormous amounts of paper. However, people are making less room in their lives for the weight and bulk of paper and are becoming more sensitive to the environmental impact of printing to read. “We believe there is a substantial unfulfilled need that Plastic Logic can meet by making digital reading a comfortable and pleasurable experience.”