Laser Light Engines, Inc. (LLE), the leader in laser illumination for high brightness digital projection, today announced $9 million in venture funding, with an additional $6 million anticipated from new investors, bringing the total new funding to $15 million.
"This new funding will allow us to accelerate commercialization of LLE's breakthrough laser illumination technology, which we introduced at the first-ever public demonstration of high brightness laser 3D cinema on a silver screen at the NAB Technology Summit on Cinema (TSC) in Las Vegas earlier this year," said John O'Hara, LLE's CEO.
O'Hara said the company's latest round of funding comes from both existing and new investors, and will be used to support product rollouts, and strengthen the company's engineering, sales and manufacturing operations. He said LLE has now raised $27 million in private funding since the company's inception in 2008.
"As we enter this next phase of our growth, we also welcome Dick Post to our Board of Directors," added O'Hara. "Dick brings a strong background in operations and high technology company management to LLE, and will help guide us during our global rollout." Post, who founded two technology companies, including NEXX Systems and Applied Science & Technology, was a senior research scientist at MIT in the 1980s and is an active investor in high technology companies.
According to Bill Beck, LLE founder and executive VP for business development, the new funding validates the impact that LLE has made on performance projection. "The cinema industry, as well as investors and strategic partners, have responded to the dramatic advancement in image quality provided by LLE technology," Beck said. At the NAB show in April and in follow-on demonstrations, LLE has shown both despeckling solutions for existing silver screens as well as a new laser-enabled 3D system that increases brightness and eliminates the need for a silver screen.
"I think that 3D cinema is one of many markets where LLE is positioned to succeed," said Michael Pachter, an expert on entertainment technology at Wedbush Securities. "The company's technology has the potential to make a difference in many other markets such as signage, displays, lighting and location-based entertainment."
According to Beck, LLE is engaged in discussions and beta testing with leading entertainment companies, and has been invited to speak as the recognized domain expert on the benefits of laser-driven light sources at several major upcoming conferences, including the 3D Entertainment Summit and The Giant Screen Cinema Association this month.