UAE-based Deep tech startup, XPANCEO, announced it raised a $40 million seed round led by Hong Kong-based Opportunity Ventures (Asia), according to a statement.
The deep tech startup will use the funding to launch the first contact lenses with AR vision features. The money will be invested to launch the next prototype, in which the company will collect several features in one device.
The company has successfully tested in the laboratory three separate prototypes to enable AR tools for several situations: night vision and zoom, real-time health monitoring, and the ability to see video and graphic content.
The new device is the world’s first ultra-thin lens and feels as natural to the wearer as their vision.
It is made of advanced optical materials (including low-dimensional and van der Waals), exhibiting record-breaking refractive indices and anisotropy and maintaining excellent optical properties.
The company was founded by Valentyn S. Volkov, a Ukrainian scientist who boasts over 7000 citations in some of the most respected international media, and Roman Axelrod, an experienced entrepreneur with three previous exits.
Co-founder and Scientific Partner, Valentyn S. Volkov, says: ”We are targeting, at least, the $790 billion Augmented Reality and Contact Lenses market, and creating the first device in the market that will allow us to use all apps and software in a single contact lens interface.
“Our device will effectively merge all your gadgets into one. XPANCEO was recognized as one of the top five optic laboratories in the world by international consulting firm BCG, and has practical experience in developing and studying unique materials (like graphene and other 2D materials), opening a way for the realization of next-generation ultra-compact optoelectronic devices,” Volkov added.
XPANCEO combines over 20 patented technologies in Advanced Optic and Photonics, Novel material, AI, and Neural Interfacing to create ultra-compact and highly efficient optoelectronic devices in smart contact lenses, paving the way for a gradual transition from traditional silicon technologies to the “graphene valley’’ future.
Opportunity Venture’s (Asia) Managing Director Philip Ma says: “We led this round of funding as a testament to the fact that XPANCEO has not merely an ambition but also a capacity to deliver on its product vision. We believe that now XPANCEO has all the resources needed to drive their R&D and product design forward and do it even faster. “Opportunity Venture (Asia) sees the potential in XPANCEO to define the next generation of computing and to become a major player in the world of personal tech in the post-smartphone era,” Ma added.
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