Press Release

February 4th, 2021

TDK Ventures invests in Metalenz, pioneer in high-performance optical metalenses

  • Metalenz manufactures a breakthrough, high-performance miniaturized flat lens technology that transforms light in a myriad of ways for a variety of optical systems, including 3D sensing.

  • Metalenses are considered a top 10 emerging technology¹, with the potential to allow further miniaturization in sensors and other imaging devices.

  • TDK Corporation will leverage its extensive experience in AR/VR, micro-actuators, smartphone cameras, IoT and manufacturing to accelerate Metalenz’ success

 

 

TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures invested in Metalenz, a pioneer in optical lens technology, poised to disrupt illumination, imaging, and display systems with its innovative optics solutions based on metasurfaces. Metalenz’ new, state-of-the-art methods manipulate light with smaller, lighter, and more high-performing components than many traditional and bulky optical systems. In particular, Metalenz is developing 3D sensing solutions for the smartphone camera market, enabling new and advanced capabilities by replacing existing stacked lenses in consumer smartphones.

“At Metalenz, our vision is to transform the way digital optics components work so that they are smaller, lighter, and have higher performance,” said Robert Devlin, CEO and Co-Founder of Metalenz. “With TDK onboard as an investor and strategic partner, we have access to more experts, tools, and market opportunities which will enable a much higher level of capabilities and outcomes. It has been a real pleasure working with TDK Ventures’ outstanding team because they work alongside us as a true partner, endeavoring in every way to accelerate our success.”

Metalenz’ trailblazing solution enables products to be manufactured in a standard semiconductor fabrication process in one step. The company is working with a wide variety of industry partners to deliver their ground-breaking products to the market, such as Applied Materials for manufacturing, Intel for development, and now TDK for materials science.

“At every step of the journey thus far, we have been impressed with Metalenz’ bold vision, talented team, and incredibly amazing execution,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director, TDK Ventures. “At the heart of what they are building is something truly transformative – a technology that can revolutionize existing lenses in smartphones, cameras, laptops, and many IoT devices to come. We believe this will be a significant market opportunity that TDK is eager to invest in and contribute to in significant ways.”

TDK Ventures invests alongside lead investor Tsingyuan Ventures. “Metalenz is going to completely upend the optics world,” said Xuhui Shao, Managing Partner at Tsingyuan Ventures. “TDK is joining at the right time, providing highly valued expertise for the team and assisting in delivering value across multiple areas. We are excited to have TDK on board and look forward to working with them to make Metalenz a phenomenal success.”

Metalenz brings capabilities to very precisely control different wavelengths of light with a thinner, flat lens with a simpler structure compared other incumbent lens components, achieved by leveraging its many years-long research into metasurfaces and how optics materials affect light at the Capasso Research Lab at Harvard University. Metalenz co-founders include the head of Capasso Research labs, Professor Federico Capasso.

“Metasurfaces are an incredibly noteworthy innovation in the field of optics. These thin and lightweight components leverage structures smaller than wavelengths of light and they can be made using a single step of semiconductor lithography,” said Professor Capasso, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Metalenz. “TDK is a truly amazing partner as we seek to further expand our capabilities. TDK understands our technology and business and can provide an abundance of resources to help us immediately.”

TDK invests globally in early-stage startups that leverage fundamental materials science to unlock an attractive and sustainable future for the world.  TDK Ventures’ goal is to help every startup we invest in to achieve their full potential for positive world impact. Signaling a return on investment in materials science startups in 2020, 3 companies TDK Ventures invested in have gone public or been acquired. To find out more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or contact@tdk-ventures.com

 

 

About TDK Corporation

 

TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2020, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 107,000 people worldwide

 

 

About TDK Ventures

 

TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or contact@tdk-ventures.com.

 

 

About Metalenz

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, and founded in 2016, Metalenz develops high-performance flat lens technology for optical lenses. The company’s technology provides new ways to improve the results of lenses used by laptops, mobile phone cameras, robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles, making them smaller and lighter. Investors include Tsingyuan Ventures, Intel Capital, and Applied Ventures. Learn more about Metalenz here: https://www.metalenz.com

¹ https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/these-are-the-top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2019/

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