(Grenoble, France, July 12, 2023) MICROOLED, the leading manufacturer of high resolution, low power consumption OLED microdisplays, announces a €21 million fundraising led Jolt Capital, with the French sovereign wealth fund Bpifrance via its Innovation Defense vehicle, alongside both historical investors, Cipio Partners and Ventech.
Smartphones and tablet PCs can be used as gateways to augmented reality, but smart glasses will soon become the dominant wearable equipment to do so. They will require the use of embedded microdisplays that can offer high luminance and contrast, but also very low power consumption from super light weight batteries. Among competing technologies, organic LED (OLED) demonstrate an excellent overall performance compared to classic LED ones, and they are increasingly used for see-through Near-Eye Displays (NED) in view finder eye pieces for cameras.
Recent announcements for new mixed-reality headsets that could reach the shelves in 2024 have boosted the AR market, including applications for industry and security segments. The global market for microdisplays designed for AR/VR use could reach $4 billion by 2027, according to a 2022 report by KBV Research, a 4x increase compared to 2020, with 10% of the total value captured by OLED technologies. 15 million units of AR smart glasses could be shipped world wide by 2027, according to CCS Insight.
Among the handful of international players able to design and manufacture these low energy consumption OLED microdisplays, MICROOLED can address both consumer and recreational markets (the ActiveLook head up display module to be embedded in glasses for real time visual information in hand free activity use cases), and industry/security ones. Since 2007, the Grenoble-based company has developed a wide range of core technologies derived from these miconductor industry, protected by over 170 granted patents, through a close collaboration with neighbor CEA/Leti research centers. MICROOLED is perfectly positioned to grab leadership in the field of wearable ultra-light weight HUDs. To cater to the various needs for “light AR” applications, the company offers a line-up of compact products ranging from 0.2” to 0.6” in size, with highresolution and power as low as 1mW.
MICROOLED’s€21 million financing round, led by Jolt Capital and the Innovation Defense Fund managed by Bpifrance and underwritten by the French Defense Innovation Agencyto support the scaling of dual-use technologies, will allow MICROOLED to finance the development of the next range of full colour, high luminance OLED solutions,to expand manufacturing capabilities in Grenoble, and to grow international sales teams in the security segment and the B2B ActiveLook platform model. Both historical shareholders, Cipio Partners and Ventech, also reinvested in that new round.
“We are very pleased with Jolt Capital and Bpifrance joining our captable, and to see that our historical shareholders Cipio Partners and Ventech continue their support. All of them understand deeptech and the stakes ofsovereignty. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy, and this new fundingwill allow us to double down on our efforts to bring to market the mostdisruptive technologies in the field of AR.” says EricMarcellin-Dibon, CEO of MICROOLED.