Amadeus and GIMV join New Venture Partners in backing revolutionary display spin off from Philips 

Amadeus Capital Partners, the European technology investor, and GIMV, the Benelux-based private equity and venture firm, have led a €12 million Series ‘A’ financing in Liquavista BV, a fabless display manufacturing company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. New Venture Partners, who led the spin out of Liquavista from Philips Research in April this year, is also participating in the round. 

Liquavista has developed and patented an innovative electro-wetting technology for mobile device display screens. This technology has the same range and ability to show videos and full colour images as current LCD screens, while also addressing two main problems inherent in today’s displays: poor readability in bright lighting conditions and high power consumption that drains batteries quickly. The opportunity for a new display technology that addresses these problems is huge, with today’s global market for mobile displays at €16 billion and for LCD displays at over €62 billion. 

Liquavista’s electro-wetting displays (EWDs) are reflective rather than transmissive and so offer the potential for clear viewing in all lighting conditions, from a dimly lit office environment to the bright light of a sunny day, while consuming a tenth of the power of similar sized LCD screens. The company’s first product platform, ColorMatch, offers world-beating brightness, with a reflective performance of more than 50% over an unlimited viewing angle. Products for which Liquavista’s EWD technology offers real improvements in visibility and power consumption range from watches, mobile phones and digital cameras to ATM screens and large flat panels. 

Mark Gostick, Liquavista’s CEO said: ‘Liquavista made a significant impact on the display industry when we launched this year. With the addition of two more Tier-1 investors to our shareholder base, we have the funding to increase our speed to market by getting our production partners up and running and allowing us to make our first customer deliveries.’ 

Commenting on the investment, Amadeus Director, Hermann Hauser, who joins the Liquavista board, says: ‘The next big thing in display technology has to address poor visibility and power consumption. Liquavista’s EWD technology solves these problems while maintaining video rate performance and could become a major force in this market.’ 

Elderd Land, of GIMV’s ICT team, who also joins the Liquavista board, says: ‘Liquavista is differentiated as an opportunity not only for its strong product focus and market insight but also for its ability to leverage the existing manufacturing infrastructure in novel ways which enables them to produce EWD displays as cost effectively as LCD.’ 

Rob Rosenberg, Liquavista board member and Partner at New Venture Partners commented, ‘We are delighted to welcome Amadeus and GIMV as partners who can truly help accelerate Liquavista aggressively towards market.’

Jukka Luoma, Technology Manager of Technology Platforms, Nokia concluded, ‘Displays are a critical component of mobile devices, as services develop that demand more from the screen technology. Radical new technologies such as reflective video displays are needed to spur this development and we are actively seeking out such new opportunities.’