Light shines on mLED as it raises £378,000 for expansion

A UNIVERSITY spin-out firm whose technology could feature in the next generation of smartphones and barcode scanners has raised £378,000 for the next stage of its development.

Glasgow-based mLED emerged from the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde. Launched in June 2010, with £150,000 of seed funding, it forms the route to market for the institute’s tiny light emitting diodes (LEDs) from which the firm takes its name.

Nick Kuenssberg, chairman of mLED, said: “We now have some customers who are seriously interested and we need to scale up the operation accordingly.”

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He said the company’s micro LEDs are not just smaller than those generally in use today, but provide high levels of brightness and definition with very little heat output, and can be programmed to read signals coming back to them.

Possible applications include medical devices, mobile internet technology and a new generation of barcode scanners.

“It’s a very exciting technology which we believe is going to be a game-changer in a number of sectors,” Kuenssberg added.

Perth-based investment management firm Braveheart led the latest round of fundraising for mLED, tapping its network of private clients and the Scottish Enterprise Co-Investment Fund.

Members of mLED’s board and technical advisory council also used the opportunity to invest further in the firm.

The additional equity funding will allow the company to hire staff, enhance its intellectual property and market its proprietary technology to initial customers.

Braveheart chief executive Geoffrey Thomson said: “We are pleased to support this company which has pioneering technology and an impressive management team.”