Jena-based siOPTICA GmbH has closed a €4M growth financing deal with bm|t and Capital‑E II ARKIV (Capital‑E), Antwerp. With the fresh capital, siOPTICA will extend the product range of its switchable privacy filters, expand the IP portfolio, adapt existing solutions to new customer needs and further develop innovative privacy technology generations, while at the same time expanding its global distribution network and thus positioning itself even more strongly in the market.
siOPTICA specialises in solutions with switchable privacy filters for screens. Core markets are automotive, ATMs and payment terminals as well as mobile devices, especially laptops. The built-in filters make PIN entry at ATMs and other payment terminals safer for customers.
In cars, the information display can now also show entertainment content to the passenger while driving, which the driver is not allowed to see due to legal regulations against distraction at the wheel. Navigation data or other, non-distracting content, on the other hand, will be visible to the driver at all times with siOPTICA technology. From 2022, according to industry studies, on average every new vehicle will be equipped with 2 displays.
Screen privacy is also playing an increasing role in other markets. Employees of many companies are only allowed to use their mobile devices outside the company with privacy films. These films, which are attached to the outside of the display, have the disadvantage of darkening the screens and increasing power consumption by compensating for brightness. Often, the films are also permanently attached, so that screen contents cannot be shared visually with other users at all. With the help of siOPTICA technology, this is a thing of the past: Integrated visual protection at the touch of a button allows safe and flexible working anytime and anywhere.
bm|t (beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh), which among other things manages the Private Equity Thüringen II fund and the Growth Participation Fund of the Thuringian Participation Capital Foundation invested in siOPTICA, is now the company’s largest shareholder.
“With Capital‑E (Capital‑E), we have been able to gain a new investor who not only supports us financially, but also brings with him a wealth of experience in the areas of entrepreneurship and technology”: emphasises Dr. Markus Klippstein, Managing Director and co-founder of siOPTICA GmbH.
“Capital‑E invests in innovative companies in the fields of micro/nano-electronics and new materials. The team, the technology, the very strong IP portfolio as well as the customer network of siOPTICA convinced us. We see significant opportunities,” explains Lou Hermans of Capital‑E. “We look forward to actively supporting siOPTICA’s highly experienced management team in its growth over the coming years.”
“It is a great pleasure for us to see how siOPTICA is continuously developing. The new funding gives the company a solid foundation for further growth,” says Cornelia Böse from bm|t.
siOPTICA GmbH was founded in Jena in 2013 with the aim of establishing innovative special solutions on the market, primarily in the field of optics. The company offers technologies in the field of privacy filters that do not exhibit the severe light loss of conventional privacy filters and, moreover, allow multiple operating modes. The solutions from siOPTICA offer strong customer benefits in areas such as vehicle construction, ATMs, payment terminals and also in the area of mobile consumer devices.
siOPTICA is a member of the German Flat Panel Display Forum (DFF) and the Photonics Network Thuringia “Optonet e.V.”. Further information about siOPTICA is available at http://www.sioptica.com.
bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen GmbH, based in Erfurt, is a subsidiary of the Thüringer Aufbaubank and the first address for investments in Thuringia. bm|t currently manages eight funds with a total invested volume of around €320 million, which invest in innovative companies in almost all sectors and in all phases of company development — both in the start-up and growth phases or in company succession situations.
Further information about bm|t is available at http://www.bm‑t.com .
Phone: +49 361 74 47 606
Capital‑E is one of the few venture capital funds in Europe focusing on early-stage investments in micro/nano-electronics and new materials. Typically, the fund enters companies in the prototype phase or with a turnover of 1 M€ or more. Capital‑E invests mainly in companies in Western Europe. Capital-E’s team plays an active role from the time of the initial investment until divestment, as partners and usually as part of the board.
More information about Capital‑E is available at http://www.capital‑e.com
Dr Lou Hermans
Tel.: +32 3 303 37 31