Laser Light Engines secures $13 million series B financing round from venture capital and entertainment industry leaders
Salem, NH – Laser Light Engines (LLE), a developer and manufacturer
of ultra-high brightness, laser-driven light sources, announced today it has closed a $13 million Series B financing round from returning investors Braemar Energy Ventures and Harris & Harris Group Inc., (Nasdaq: TINY) and from current strategic partner IMAX Corporation, (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) one of the world’s leading entertainment technology companies.
LLE will use the Series B funds to accelerate expansion of its product development, engineering and marketing organizations. The company will also develop a custom version of its laser engine for use in IMAX digital projection systems, making IMAX the exclusive large format cinema user for up to three years. LLE will also provide outsourced research and development for IMAX, per the agreement previously announced in July, 2010.
The LLE light engine will provide two to five times the brightness level of a traditional Xenon bulb, making the superior light source ideal for 3D presentation which needs more light - all current 3D systems, other than IMAX, cut brightness up to 80% to split the picture into two separate images, one for each eye. Initially targeted for Digital Cinema projector use, LLE’s light source will be available for other entertainment industry applications such as theme park attractions, Rental/Staging and digital signage.
“The explosion of 3D and Digital Cinema worldwide has projector manufacturers and, ultimately, exhibitors looking at our high brightness light source to replace traditional Xenon arc lamps and solve the brightness issues associated with 3D presentation,” said Doug Darrow, CEO, Laser Light Engines. “We will continue growing our business with the current round of financing now closed and look to add to our list of strategic and equity partners that include industry leaders such as Braemar, Harris & Harris and IMAX.”
The patented LLE system produces red, green and blue primaries from the same laser. The unique technology offered by LLE eliminates the speckle artifact from all three laser primary colors. LLE has demonstrated fully despeckled 2K and 4K DCinema Standard Evaluation
Material (StEM) and other cinema and non-cinema content with all five major brands of Digital Cinema and Large Venue projectors.
“Part of the IMAX Experience® is to ensure the best picture quality possible on our largest screens,” said Brian Bonnick, executive vice president of technology, IMAX. “Laser Light Engines’ technology will not only enable the highest brightness large format digital 3D presentation in the world, but also drive additional image quality advances.”
Laser Light Engines will use the proceeds of this round of financing to commercialize its RGB (Red/Green/Blue) laser technology, dramatically reducing operating costs for movie theater owners for a potential per screen savings of $10,000 a year by eliminating the need to replace expensive Xenon arc lamps (projector bulbs) and reducing electricity use as much as 50%.
LLE’s solid-state RGB laser solution can deliver higher brightness than lamps because all of the laser light comes from narrow beams; virtually all of the laser power gets to the projector chips. In contrast, less than 7% of the output of a Xenon lamp reaches the screen. The LLE system provides full brightness over the lifetime of the projector unlike Xenon lamps that decline in output over time.
About Laser Light Engines
Laser Light Engines, Inc., designs, develops and manufactures OEM laser-driven light engines that enable broad new product categories. The company’s unique solid-state illumination “engines” combine advanced laser technology with high volume manufacturing processes to
provide high brightness, long lifetime, energy efficient and color controllable light for demanding illumination applications worldwide.
In 2009 Laser Light Engines was named to the AlwaysOn OnHollywood Top 100 Private companies list, which honors the best up and coming companies in digital media and entertainment.
About Braemar Energy Ventures
Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital fund making early- to mid-stage investments in the energy technology sector. The firm's principals have invested in more than 50 companies in the sector and have significant technical, operational and financial experience in energy and energyrelated industries. Through offices in New York and Boston, the firm targets a wide range of energy technologies that impact stationary power, transportation and portable energy applications. Additional information is available at www.braemarenergy.com.
About Harris & Harris Group Inc.
Harris & Harris Group is a publicly traded venture capital company that invests in nanotechnology and microsystems. Detailed information about Harris & Harris Group and its holdings can be found on its website at www.HHVC.com.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR(R) technology. IMAX DMR is the Company's groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform
virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of June 30, 2010, there were 447 IMAX theatres (325 commercial, 122 institutional) operating in 47 countries.
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