The Vienna-based startup is using its ability to control light on the microscale to revolutionize the display market
Introducing laser light into displays has vast potential to improve image quality and enable holographic displays but practical difficulties associated with controlling laser light have held back the practical implementation of this technology.
VitreaLab is tackling this challenge by using a unique micro-fabrication technology that creates millions of tiny light channels in glass, allowing control of the flow of light in an incredibly precise way. This means that instead of the light being reflected in a random way in an LCD, the laser light arrives with pinpoint accuracy at its destined point and is ready for emission towards the viewer. This brings for the first time the realization of high quality holographic displays within grasp.
VitreaLab was founded by Chiara Greganti and Jonas Zeuner, physicists from the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ). During their PhD they used the micro-fabrication technology employed by VitreaLab for Quantum Computing experiments, where the control of laser light on the nanoscale is necessary. That is where the idea for VitreaLab was born.
Just two years after raising the initial investment from APEX and IST cube, the startup moved out of rented university facilities and into a new, state-of-the-art laboratory.
Grown to a team of nine people, the startup is rapidly advancing its prototypes and expanding its IP portfolio with its eyes set on a first licensing deal.
Jonas Zeuner: “Our first target is to drastically increase the energy efficiency and brightness of smartphone displays. This is where we can make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time while pursuing the more ambitious goals like holographic displays later on”.
With its Seed round VitreaLab was able to raise a seven-digit number from its current and additional two high profile investors, bringing Hermann Hauser – ARM founder and high profile tech-investor – on board alongside PrimeCrowd.
Hermann Hauser is excited about the prospects of VitreaLab: “I believe this can be a break-through technology for displays.”
“With our current backing I see a bright future for VitreaLab”, says Jonas Zeuner: “It is absolutely vital to be supported by investors that actively help and shape the future of the company. Without our current investors we would not be where we are today and with Hermann and PrimeCrowd on-board it will be even easier to move forward”.
Ronald Rapberger (CIO of primeCROWD): “VitreaLab was the fastest fundraising ever completed since our inception. I attribute this to the highly competent founders, their disruptive technology and the renowned Co-Investors including Hermann Hauser, IST cube and APEX Ventures.”
VitreaLab is a spin-off of the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), founded in late 2018. The company uses a unique laser-writing technology to produce revolutionary displays. Founders and CEOs are Chiara Greganti and Jonas Zeuner, who both developed the idea during their PhD studies and then spun it out.
About IST cube
IST cube is a seed fund focusing on deep-tech and science-based startups and spin-offs. The fund leads investment rounds in pre-seed and seed stages with the ability for follow-on investments. IST cube supports the portfolio companies with equity, know-how and network. In addition, the fund has a strong partner in the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, which provides access to scientific infrastructure.
About APEX Ventures
APEX Ventures is an Europe based Venture Capital Firm investing into deep-tech startups with a focus on unique and defendable intellectual property and above-average market potential. APEX funds have completed numerous investments in Europe and in the U.S., among others in the fields of A.I. for medical applications, quantum and laser technologies, autonomous mobility, computer vision, as well as digital forensics. APEX Ventures closely supports the founding teams in their go-to-market approaches to help accelerate international growth.
About prime Crowd
primeCROWD is one of the largest startup investor networks in the DACH region and includes more than 2,500 investors as well as numerous incubators, accelerators and VCs.
primeCROWD acts as an interface between investors and startups with a focus on early-stage and growth financing in the technology, healthcare, digital economy and sustainability sectors. Its declared goal is to accompany startups throughout the entire investment process.
Since its foundation in 2015, investments in 28 startups and in the amount of more than EUR 20 million have been realized (2 exits).
About Herman Hauser Investment GmbH
Hermann Hauser Investment GmbH bundles the business angel activities of Hermann Hauser in Central Europe. Hermann is a computer entrepreneur and venture capitalist who invests for more than 30 years in scaling deep technology companies. Hermann’s successes include ARM Microprocessors, CSR, Entropic Research Laboratory, Solexa and Icera. He is also Vice-Chair of the EIC Pilot Advisory Board. In 2012 he was elected to be a member of the Royal Society and in 2015 he was awarded a KBE.