Posted on Friday, Dec 2nd 2016
According to a recent report by MarketsAndMarkets, the global flexible electronics market is projected to grow 21.7% annually to $13.23 billion by 2020. Billion Dollar Unicorn club member Royole Corporation is developing impressive products to cater to this growing demand.
Royole Corporation’s Offerings
Shenzhen, China-based Royole Corporation was founded in 2012 by Stanford engineering graduates with the mission to improve the way people interact with and perceive their world. Royole wanted to create high quality electronic digital display technology that could help cater to the growing demand of phones and other consumer electronics. Since being founded, Royole has focused on the creation of innovative flexible display and sensor technology. Its technological prowess over materials, processes, circuits, and manufacturing tools has helped it deliver the world’s thinnest full-color flexible display that is only 0.01 mm thick and is able to bend to a radius of 1mm. Besides being thin, Royole’s display technology provides device makers with access to light weight, bendable, shatter-proof, and low energy display. Its display is used in smartphones, mobile devices, computers and televisions.
Royole also creates wearable consumer electronics for its customers. In 2015, it began mass production of flexible electronics at its production facility in Shenzhen China. It released the world’s first foldable Virtual Mobile Theater. Last quarter, Royole released its latest version of the product The Moon. The Moon is an immersive, 3D movie watching or gaming experience that integrates ultra-high-resolution display with superior noise-cancelling headphones and a foldable display design. It retails for $799 apiece.
Additionally, Royole also provides IP licenses, services, and solutions for several industries associated with display and flexible electronics applications. It has more than 500 patents, issued and pending on the subject.
Recently, Royole also added global R&B icon Akon as its Chief Creative Officer (CCO). Royole believes that Akon’s talent in music, art, and business will help it deliver more innovative and creative products in the future.
Royole is privately held and does not divulge any financial details. It has been venture funded so far with $280 million in investments from IDG Capital Partners, CITIC Capital, Knights Investment Group, Alpha Wealth, Green Pine Capital, Warmsun Holding Group, and Shenzhen Capital Group. Its latest funding was held last month when it raised an estimated $80 million at a valuation of $3 billion.
Royole is not alone in the flexible displays segment. According to a research report published in 2013, the flexible display market is estimated to grow to $3.89 billion by 2020, and it has big international players like LG Displays, Philips Electronics and even Sony lining up to build these products.
Flexible electronics may be a fast growing segment, but according to Dr. Bill Liu, Royole’s CEO, the commercialization of fully flexible displays is still a long way pending. TV manufacturers like Sony and Samsung are building curved display televisions, but they aren’t really focusing on a fully flexible display screens. Similarly, a fully flexible smartphone is yet to hit the market even though rumors about a flexible phone keep floating around. But that hasn’t stopped Royole from continuing to innovate. Royole believes that “folding and unfolding is just the first step” and that “in the future, as things mature, you will be able to roll displays up to have a pen-like device that unrolls to provide a larger screen.”
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
Photo Credit: richard Broderick/Flickr.com
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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