Kateeva, a supplier production equipment for flexible OLEDs based in Newark, California, closed its Series E funding round with $88 million in new financing. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate new product development. The money will also go towards manufacturing capacity expansion at its Silicon Valley headquarters, where Kateeva is assembling production systems. In addition, the company intends to use the funds to support continued R&D and strengthen its customer satisfaction infrastructure in Asia.
Flexible OLED technology frees OLED panel makers from the constraints of glass substrates. The technology enables ultra-thin, feather-light displays that are bendable, rollable, and even foldable.
Kateeva’s production solution for making flexible OLEDs called YIELDjet employs inkjet printing combined with novel innovations for performing critical steps in the manufacturing process. Today, according to the company, YIELDjet tools are helping to accelerate the adoption of OLED technology.
The new investors include TCL Capital, BOE, GP Capital Shanghai, and Cybernaut Venture, all located in China. They join existing investors, which include: Spark Capital, Veeco Instruments Inc. Sigma Partners, New Science Partners, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, and DBL Partners.
Kateeva Chairman and CEO Alain Harrus, Ph.D. said, “Kateeva started enabling this “freedom from glass” display innovation in 2008 when our founders began pioneering a superior mass-production equipment solution for OLEDs. Today, Kateeva tools are positioned in top OLED manufacturing fabs.”
Flexible OLED is the first major application for the company’s YIELDjet platform, according to Kateeva president and co-founder Conor Madigan, Ph.D. “Next up is OLED TV,” he said. “Having mastered the technical challenges of mass-producing Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) — the layer that gives thinness and flexibility to the OLED device, we’re now applying YIELDjet technology to help display manufacturers mass-produce the OLED RGB layer, which enables OLED TVs.”
Kateeva executives will attend Display Week 2016, held May 22-27 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.