VueReal, a Waterloo-based maker of micro LED technologies and micro LED displays, has obtained $8.5 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), money which will allow it to expand its team and build out a nanotechnology fabrication facility at its existing location on Phillip Street.
“We’ve achieved some important milestones – and the industry has taken notice – but our journey is really just beginning,” said Reza Chaji, VueReal’s CEO and founder.
Micro LEDs are powering a new wave of displays for TVs, smartphones and watches that generate images that are brighter, crisper, have higher frame rates, and use significantly less energy, than existing technology.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to help grow new, environmentally sustainable companies.
VueReal, which got its start in 2016, completed a US$10.5-million Series A round last March. Its CFO, David Miller, said that the company is working on raising additional funds and expects to soon have an announcement; that money, combined with the funding announced Wednesday from the SDTC, will go toward a capital investment of CDN$26 million for its new fabrication facility and building out its team, which currently stands at 25 employees.
“We’re planning to grow to about 40 people by the end of next year,” said Miller.
In recent years, liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, have given way to OLEDs, or organic light emitting diodes. VueReal’s technology represents the next iteration of LED: It’s brighter, has better efficiency and longer life than OLED technology.
“SDTC is proud to support the steps that VueReal is taking to reduce the carbon footprint of micro-and nanotechnology production processes, demonstrating that small actions can create big change,” said Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
Miller said that issues around commercialization and production have prevented micro LED technology from gaining fast market traction, issues that VueReal aims to solve with its new facility.