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19 December, 2006 - 11:21 By Staff Reporter

Light Blue Optics closes funding round

Light Blue Optics, the Cambridge based developer of miniature laser projection technology has announced the closing of a £512k extension to its seed funding round as it accelerates its commercialisation timetable.

3i led the round, which also included investment from NESTA, the Cambridge Capital Group and business angels, and follows the closure of a $2.5m seed round in July.

LBO said proceeds would enable it to accelerate its product development programme.

LBO has also signed an exclusive licensing agreement on a key patent with Cambridge Enterprise Ltd, the University of Cambridge’s technology commercialisation service.

The patent is a method for real-time, full-colour holographic laser projection, and was invented in 2003 by LBO’s director of business development, Dr Edward Buckley, and CTO, Dr Adrian Cable, while they were PhD students at the University of Cambridge.

Founded in 2004, LBO has developed an innovative projection system that uses laser light sources and diffractive techniques to deliver high-quality, real-time, full-colour video images in focus at all distances – even on curved or angled surfaces.

The benefits of the technology, according to LBO are its compact size;absence of moving parts; focus free operation; low power consumption and simple, low cost manufacture

Dr Buckley explained: “Light Blue Optics offers a unique and very elegant solution which meets the needs of a rapidly-growing market for projection-enabled applications.

“The efficiency, robustness and cost advantages of our technology make it ideally suited for deployment in multiple markets; including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics.”

Since closing the $2.5 million seed-funding round in July, Light Blue Optics reported that it had been building relationships with strategic customers and development partners.

Laurence Garrett, 3i partner said, “We have been very impressed by the traction LBO has gained with launch customers – it indicates a strong demand for LBO’s technology across a range of markets.

“LBO is realising its potential and we’re pleased to support its accelerated product development programme by providing this additional funding.”

Light Blue Optics’ CEO, Dr Harris added: “This funding demonstrates the significant confidence our investors have in LBO and our fast- paced technology roadmap.

“We’re particularly pleased to have reached a licensing agreement with Cambridge Enterprise. We now have a strong, clear IP position, and are ideally placed to become the world’s leading supplier of miniature laser projection systems.”

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