Aledia raises €80m for microLED displays

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MicroLEDs are expected to be the next big display technology

Aledia, a French startup that develops microLED displays, has raised €80m in the first stage of its €120m D-round financing. 

The company will use the proceeds to complete its product development and create a 52,000m2 high-volume 3D microLED manufacturing facility in the Grenoble area for an estimated €40 million (excluding equipment). 

Spun out of CEA-Leti in 2012, Aledia develops LED chips for next-generation displays for laptops, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, augmented-reality glasses and large TVs. The company has 125 employees based in Grenoble. 

Aledia raised over $40 million in two financing rounds in 2013 and 2015 and $36 million in its round C financing round in 2018.

‘There is a major turning point coming in the $120 billion per year display market as microLED technology starts to replace the traditional LCD and OLED technologies,’ said Giorgio Anania, Aledia CEO and co-founder. ‘In addition to being more efficient and brighter than current alternatives, with better colours, and a faster refresh rate, these new displays will be competitively priced.’

He said Aledia is the only company targeting this market with a nanocrystal technology that uses very large-size silicon wafers (200-300mm in diameter) and with processes developed by the microelectronics industry, as opposed to the traditional technology of planar, 2D LEDs built on smaller, layered sapphire substrates of 100-150mm diameter. Aledia’s technology is protected by 197 patent families, making Aledia the leading French startup company in France in filed patents.

Clearly there is significant competition in this market, and this investment allows Aledia to accelerate substantially its development and establish world-class manufacturing capabilities,’ Anania said.

‘The display industry is a large strategic market of the future, and Aledia is making a very ambitious play to become a leader in this space,’ said Magali Joëssel, SPI fund director at Bpifrance, which led the investment round. ‘With an investment of over €200 million in equipment over the next five years and plans to grow to approximately 500 employees, Aledia’s location in the Grenoble area signals a commitment to establish a world-scale industrial manufacturing facility in France.’

The Investment Fund Société de Projet Industriel (SPI), a fund managed by Bpifrance and underwritten by the French State as part of the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir (PIA), is lead investor in the round and is joined by the majority of the existing strategic investors, including Intel Capital.

Aledia’s existing investors include Braemar Energy Ventures, Demeter Investment Partners, the Ecotechnologies fund of Bpifrance, Ingka Investments, Intel Capital, Sofinnova Ventures, Supernova Invest, TEL (Tokyo Electron), Valeo, and several large, additional technology companies. 

The financing was managed by Ancoris Capital Partners of New York, with Orrick as legal advisers.