Qinetiq has invested an additional £3.5m in ZBD Displays, as the lead in a £10.5m funding round. ZBD, the first spinout from Qinetiq, was established in July 2000 to commercialise zero-power Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs).
The company will use the new funding to develop its emerging business as a future supplier of a new generation of electronic retail signage, strengthen its manufacturing supply chain operations, and engage in international expansion.
Existing investors Prelude Trust, the Dow Chemical Group, the TTP Venture Fund and Qinetiq Group plc contributed 50 per cent of the funding round, with the balance coming from new investors Lansdowne UK Equity Fund and Esprit Capital Fund 1.
Hal Kruth, MD Qinetiq Ventures said: ‘ZBD is the founding member of Qinetiq’s ventures portfolio and is well on track to becoming a successful global business. This funding round will enable ZBD to gear up for widespread commercialisation of its zero-power electronic displays and ensure that it is well placed for a stock market flotation in the future.’
ZBD has developed a bi-stable Liquid Crystal Display. The company delivers ‘electronic point of purchase’ (epop) solutions as replacements for paper-based signage, providing wireless pricing that allows retailers to reduce product wastage, provide more information to customers and compete with online retailers.
Successful pilots have been conducted with major retailers including Tesco and ZBD has established supply chain partnerships with specialist manufacturers in Europe and China.