Spin-out Cambridge Touch Technologies taps $5.5m new investment

Cambridge Touch Technologies, a leading developer of AI-driven, 3D multi-touch sensing technologies for smart devices, is pleased to announce the completion of a $5.5m Series A1 round of investment. In addition to Cambridge Enterprise, existing investors Parkwalk Advisors and Amadeus Capital Partners participated in the round, and were joined by new investors China Materialia of Shanghai and Downing Ventures of London. Ascendant Corporate Finance provided advice to CTT on the fund raising.

The company’s technology uses extraordinarily simply architecture to deliver an all-screen, multi-finger 3D touch solution that can scale to all device sizes, at a fraction of the cost of existing approaches. CTT technology sits above or on the display due to its high transparency, not underneath as with current opaque approaches. It is fully compatible with OLED and LCD conventional or bezel-less ‘infinity’ screens, including flat, curved and newly emerging foldable and flexible devices.

Due to sophisticated software algorithms and artificial intelligence, CTT’s next-generation solution is the world’s simplest 3D Touch architecture, employing just a single, piezoelectric based sensor for combined force and capacitive location sensing. First-generation competitor solutions require separate sensors, and are more complex to manufacture.

CTT was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2011 to commercialise next-generation 3D multi-touch technology for smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, automotive and industrial applications. 3D Touch is an enhanced user interface which is now being deployed by all leading mobile and smart device makers.

CTT has attracted strong market interest, and is engaged with leading OEMs, touch and display panel manufacturers, touch controller IC makers and auto component suppliers for mass adoption of its technology in the near future.

Corbin Church, CEO at CTT, said: “We’re delighted to welcome China Materialia and Downing Ventures, both highly-respected funds, who join our existing investors in backing the rapid growth of the business. In particular, we are pleased that the progress we have made in key elements of the technology, and with major customers in Asia, has allowed us to attract investment from that region, which is highly strategic for our commercialization plans and roll-out. The company has a number of opportunities to exploit with its technology, IP and first-class team, and this new funding will allow us to accelerate business, product and market development over the next 18 months. We look forward to continuing to work with our customers and partners towards mass production, which is expected in the near future.”

Moray Wright, co-founder of Parkwalk, said: “We are delighted to have led this funding round. CTT’s disruptive technology and processing solutions could revolutionise the touch screen market. We welcome China Materialia and Downing as new investors and look forward to taking this technology forward to commercialisation.”

Amelia Armour, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners, commented: “CTT is another great Cambridge university spin-out we are pleased to be backing. As we expected when investing at seed stage, the market for 3D touch screens has grown rapidly. CTT is now perfectly positioned to commercialise its unique touch technology.”

Dr Patrick Berbon, Managing Partner of China Materialia, said: “We are excited to invest in CTT and join its Board of Directors. We are attracted by the simplicity and elegance of CTT’s solution for 3D Touch sensors in smart devices.  We feel that CTT’s AI-based signal processing algorithms and specialized Piezoelectric Force Films, could enable a simple low-cost sensor architecture that delivers superior functionality, and scales to all device sizes, shapes and, flexible and foldable forms, and open up exciting new applications on these devices. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth.”

Richard Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be working with CTT and supporting the commercialisation of their truly innovative 3D Touch platform. The high quality CTT team has developed a low-cost architecture that has the potential to disrupt the global touch screen market. We also look forward to working with an experienced group of investors to help the company to achieve its growth ambitions.”

 

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