Plastic Logic raising $100 million to build electronic paper products


Plastic Logic’s “take anywhere, read anywhere” displays use imaging film from
E Ink. (Photo: Business Wire)

Jan. 4, 2007 — Plastic Logic of Cambridge, England, announced that it will build one of the first factories to manufacture plastic electronics on a commercial scale. The facility will produce flexible active-matrix display modules for ‘take anywhere, read anywhere’ electronic reader products. It will utilize Plastic Logic’s unique process to fabricate active-matrix displays that are thin, light and robust — potentially enabling a reading experience closer to paper than any other technology.

To fund the program, Plastic Logic has completed a first closing of $100 million of equity finance led by Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Investment Corporation. Existing investors Amadeus, which led the seed financing of Plastic Logic, Intel Capital, Bank of America, BASF Venture Capital, Quest for Growth and Merifin Capital also participated. The financing is one of the largest in the history of European venture capital.

Bandel Carano, managing partner at Oak, said “Plastic Logic has created a pioneering technology that will revolutionize the way that people interact with their media on the move. This investment is a perfect fit with Oak’s vision of future media interaction through handheld devices.”

The facility will produce display modules for portable electronic reader devices — a product category that is predicted to grow to 41.6 million units in 2010. It will have an initial capacity of more than a million display modules per year and production will start in 2008. Dresden in the ‘Silicon Saxony’ region of eastern Germany has been chosen as the facility location following an extensive worldwide site selection process.

“Our displays will enable electronic reader products that are as comfortable and natural to read as paper whether you’re on a beach, in a train or relaxing on the sofa at home.” stated John Mills, chief operating officer at Plastic Logic. “Wireless connectivity will allow you to purchase and download a book or pick up the latest edition of your newspaper wherever you are and whenever you need it. The battery will last for thousands of pages so you can leave your charger at home.”

“Even in this age of pervasive digital content, our research shows that consumers are very reluctant to read on laptops, phones and PDAs,” said Simon Jones, vice president of product development at Plastic Logic.

“We still carry around enormous amounts of paper. However, people are making less room in their lives for the weight and bulk of paper and are becoming more sensitive to the environmental impact of printing to read. We believe there is a substantial unfulfilled need that Plastic Logic can meet by making digital reading a comfortable and pleasurable experience.”

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