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Porotech’s micro-LED display revolution receives $20m Series A boost

Porotech’s advance towards mass manufacturing of micro-LED displays – in colour – moved closer this week after the announcement of a successful $20million Series A investment.

Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu with a PoroGaN template
Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu with a PoroGaN template

The South Cambridge Business Park microdisplay technology pioneer will use the funding to accelerate global expansion and mass production of its unique micro-LED products and “to ensure the company keeps pace with growing demand from its world-leading customers and partners in the $140billion display market”.

A “multinational electronics giant” is among the participants in the Series A funding round, which has been led by Ameba Capital and includes previous investor Speedinvest.

Micro-LED displays will play a vital role in the next generation of TVs, wearables and smartphones.

Porotech is a gallium nitride (GaN) material technology developer and a spin-out from the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride at the University of Cambridge.

Founded in 2020, Porotech has focused on the development of high-performance and energy-efficient wide-bandgap compound porous GaN semiconductors by applying cutting-edge material technologies and solutions to unleash the full potential of GaN. GaN-based material technology is widely seen as the only technology that can deliver displays bright and efficient enough to meet the requirements of extended reality displays involving virtual reality, augmented reality and/or mixed reality.

The Porotech team
The Porotech team

The company has redefined what is possible by creating a new class of GaN semiconductor material called PoroGaN. The breakthrough is enabling the company’s micro-LED products to deliver monochrome and full-colour displays on a single indium gallium nitride (InGaN) material system, with the brightness, efficiency and resolution required for high-quality image projection against bright backgrounds – even outdoors in daylight. The company’s red micro-LED product is already achieving best-in-class performance.

Until now, the requirement to mix multiple material systems has complicated the manufacture of full-colour micro-LED displays, making the final products prohibitively expensive for mass-market applications. Porotech’s use of a single material system is a significant leap forward that opens the door to mass manufacturing of micro-LED displays.

Ultimately, it aims to create ‘smart’ pixels that can be controlled independently, for unrivalled responsiveness and accuracy, which would be helpful for augmented reality gestures.

Porotech’s progress during its seed phase has been absolutely staggering – both technically and commercially,” said Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu. “We have delivered the world’s first InGaN-based red micro-LEDs and displays and have set up production of our first products – shipping to some of the biggest global names in display technology.

“This latest funding will accelerate our work to ensure that PoroGaN drives the commercialisation of XR glasses and the new wave of user interface innovation. It will help us to continue our expansion plans to meet demand and to continue to provide world-class service and products to our rapidly expanding customer and partner base.”

Arthur Chen, a partner at Ameba Capital, said: “Porotech is poised to transform the $140billion global display market as it accelerates mass production of its revolutionary micro-LED products. The fact that it already has industry leaders among its clients and partners is a testament to the game-changing potential of Porotech’s breakthrough.”

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