Plastic Logic has been raising money for years and amassing a treasure trove of investors that would help chart the future direction of the company. In 2019, E INK made a massive investment, levering their supply chain to help bring Plastic Logic technology to the market. We have yet to see commercial product materialize, but Plastic Logic is not seeing their EPD, backplanes and logic boards on on the E INK shop. A new investor has just been confirmed, DKE Displays, a China-based company specialising in the production of e-paper displays. The financial terms of the deal are unknown, but cements DKE’s ambition to move into the growing market for oTFT (organic Thin Film Transistor) displays, the high-resolution, lightweight and ultra-low-power products that Plastic Logic specialises in. These displays are more rugged than standard glass-based TFTs – being thinner and lighter makes them ideal for applications such as wearables.
Currently DKE Displays currently provides customised EPD (Electrophoretic Paper Display) products for applications including ESLs (Electronic Shelf Labels), smart cards, smart clothing and smart homes (Internet of Things). The deal with Plastic Logic will help them expand into other segments, with tech that is bendable, such as watches, bracelets, and badges.
To meet the new business growth opportunities for e-paper displays, DKE has doubled its production capacity within a year, with a new facility in Zhejiang, in addition to its headquarters facility in Dalian, China. Plastic Logic’s products were originally made in Dresden, Germany, although production is today is carried out in industry-leading manufacturing facilities globally.
There is great synergy with Plastic Logic’s oTFT-based flexible displays – we see them as the future and we really wanted to invest in this exciting technology, which we believe represents significant growth opportunities,” said Zhou Aijun, CEO, DKE Displays. “Our motto is ‘Beyond Expectation’ and we are one of the pioneers in the EPD market, with more than 10 years of experience in development and production. With trends such as e-mobility, IoT and AI, we see a real demand for the innovative flexible e-paper displays that Plastic Logic produces.”
“We are very excited about this external industry insider investment from DKE, which is further validation of the technology we have built over the last 10 years,” said Tim Burne, CEO, Plastic Logic. “DKE’s financial strength will take us one step closer to achieving our business growth objectives. We will be able to tap into DKE’s expertise and assembly facilities in China and explore the opportunities for our products in the Asian market. This is more than just an investment in us – it’s a partnership that will bring both companies long-term benefits.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.