Reflective LCD Start-Up Azumo Gets $30M In New Backing For Expansion, R&D

May 10, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The Chicago display start-up Azumo just got a vote of confidence from investors, securing $30 million in new financing to drive international expansion, increase manufacturing capabilities and launch new products that use its low-power reflective LCD technology.

Azumo’s core product is sunlight-readable, reflective “LCD 2.0” technology that it says can reduce LCD power consumption by as much as 10x.

“Our LCD 2.0 technology removes the restrictions around how and where we can interact with our devices, and for how long, because it helps displays to sip a fraction of the power and utilize available surrounding light to conserve battery life,” says Mike Casper, CEO of Azumo. “This new financing will allow us to expand sales and applications engineering support globally, grow our international team and continue to deliver on the promises of LCD 2.0 across a variety of industries.”

I did a podcast with Casper about 13 months ago, and described his company’s tech this way: Azumo has developed a micro-thin front light for LCDs, taking the place of the backlighting arrays that illuminate millions or billions of TVs and display monitors. By day, in bright light, an Azumo-equipped display doesn’t even need a light on, front or back. And at night, that front light illuminates the screen.

Right now, Azumo does smaller displays for industrial and medical uses, and is developing the tech for tablets. But the company is equipping its production lines to do larger displays, with the idea that customers like media companies and QSR chains would take a liking to digital posters and drive-thru order screens that didn’t run up big power bills just to be viewable.

Azumo’s technology, says PR, is intrinsically eye safe, extremely thin, and is opening new applications for reflective LCDs across consumer, medical, industrial, and educational markets.

“Azumo is ushering in a new category of display technology, allowing devices with reflective LCDs to work in indoor/outdoor environments, to last longer, and to fit into novel product form factors,” says John Ho, Partner at Anzu Partners, one of the backers. “Since our initial investment, Azumo has solidified its manufacturing and supply chain through a partnership with a leading, global electronics manufacturer, enabling global scale up capabilities and access to new markets.”

The money round was led by Anzu, with additional funding from SABIC Ventures, VectoIQ, Dipalo Ventures and Energy Foundry.

  1. Eli says:

    A question:
    Liquid crystal displays lose at least half of the light because they reflect just one polarization.
    Can you please elaborate how to overcome this 50% efficiency limit in reflectance?

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Just the messenger! Suggest putting that to Azumo.

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