Venture capital played a critical role in the financing and development of Novaled, which was founded in 2001 spin-off from the Universities of Dresden and Ulm. Today, the company is the global leader in organic light-emitting diodes or OLEDS, which allow for the creation of paper-thin colour displays and screens. The technology is now being used to make a new generation of large, curved televisions that are also highly energy efficient.
Thanks to backing from eCAPITAL, TechnoStart, KfW, Omnes Capital, TechFund, CDC Innovation and Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen, Novaled grew into an organisation with over 130 employees, annual sales over €25m and an intellectual property record of over 500 patents. Bought by Samsung in 2013, Novaled is now the engine room for its global OLED developments.
One of the key factors for funding Novaled’s growth and gaining the position of a global technology leader was the trust of investors, who provided capital also during times of the financial crisis.
Harry Boehme Former CFO, Novaled
What did the business need?
- Funding by long-term investors who believed in the OLED product
- Guidance to professionalise company management structure and expand the organisation
- Access to international partners
- Help to educate customers about OLED potential
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Provided long-term financing over ten-year period
- Built a dynamic management team, and expanded the organisation while retaining the founder’s intellectual input
- Rigorously tested the model and strategic course of the business
- Identified and invited a strong strategic investor to invest in Novaled with minority stake
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Established the global leader in OLED materials technology
- Achieved revenues of over €25m up from €1m at investment
- Created a profitable company with over €3m in operating profits
- Oversaw the creation of 576 patents in 148 patent families
- Created 133 jobs until sale and ensured more growth thereafter