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OLED tech developer Cynora secures $25M Series C funding

23 May 2019

Company also names serial start up leader Adam Kablanian as new CEO.

Cynora has secured US$25M in financing from investors in Asia, Europe and the US, marking the initial close of its Series C funding round. The news was announced at Dispaly Week, in San Jose, Ca.

The Germany-based company has developed a novel technology to produce ultra-high-efficiency emitter systems required for next-generation OLED displays; it has raised a total of $80M since its launch in 2008.

In a related move, the company has also appointed Adam Kablanian as CEO. Kablanian joins the company as part of the C round. He succeeds Gildas Sorin who led the company through R&D and early customer engagements. Sorin will remain at Cynora during the transition.

Kablanian previously led several Silicon Valley-based public and privately-held companies, bringing complex technologies to market and building large infrastructures to support global customers. These include Virage Logic, an embedded memory leader he co-founded and took public before it was acquired by Synopsys. He also led PlasmaSi, an OLED encapsulation company acquired by Aixtron.

Syndicate of investors

The new Series C investors in Cynora include: SRF Partners Group (SRF), a US fund that includes financing from a Korean technology corporation; DBOLED, a US fund, and SBI Cross-Border Advantage Fund, based in Korea.

Existing investors also participated in the round. They include: MIG Funds, a leading German VC firm, and Wecken & Cie, based in Switzerland. Previous investors include LG Display and Samsung Venture Investment. Dan Rubin, a partner with SRF, joins Cynora’s board.

The nerw funds will be used to build a worldwide infrastructure to support the production, sales and support of Cynora’s Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence (TADF) materials for next-generation OLED displays. According to Cynora, TADF materials “radically improve the efficiency of blue emitters, which are currently the performance-limiting components of the OLED device.”

Boosting the efficiency of blue emitters is a top priority for display manufacturers, the company states. Not only can ultra-high-efficiency blue emitters slash power consumption by up to 50 percent, they can also reduce the manufacturing costs. Cynora says its proprietary TADF blue emitter solution, now nearing commercialization, “has the proven capability to enable low-power advantages, with performance metrics that lead the industry.”

Kablanian, a multi-time technology company CEO, will lead Cynora from the company’s HQ in Bruchsal, Germany. Throughout his career, he has built several successful global companies around disruptive science-based technologies. With Virage Logic, he took a pioneering semiconductor memory design IP solution to the global market, breaching commercialization barriers and enabling marquee customers with a differentiated embedded memory technology.

New CEO Adam Kablanian.

New CEO Adam Kablanian.

‘OLED trajectory continues’

As CEO of PlasmaSi, Kablanian entered the OLED industry as the new display technology seized the lead over LCDs as the preferred choice for smartphones. Cynora says today, the trajectory for OLEDs continues.

Display Supply Chain Consultants predicts that the market for OLED displays will nearly double in size over the next four years, soaring from $28.7 billion this year to $52 billion in 2023. Beyond offering significantly improved pixel quality on smartphone displays and TVs, OLED technology also enables radical new form factors, like foldable and roll-able devices.

Dan Rubin, Partner, SRF Partners Fund, commented, “We selected Cynora to make its first investment in the display industry. OLED is the future of display technology. It can radically reduce power consumption and give shape to flexible, foldable and even roll-able devices. Our investment focus is on critical technologies that enable this ecosystem.”

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