OCTOBER 27, 2008 -- PixelOptics (Roanoke, VA), a company committed to "transformational innovation" in eyewear lenses for noninvasive vision correction, has closed on a $30 million Series C investment round. The company will use the funds to develop a complete offering of composite eyeglass lensesincorporating its electro-active lens technology.
PixelOptics "is successfully applying its know-how of composite optics, electronics and chemistry to the development of a mainstream product that we expect will benefit millions of people worldwide," said Juliet Bakker, Managing Director of Longitude Capital, which led the financing round. PixelOptics' focus on improving the current standard of vision correction promises a wide range of eye glasses based on "composite lens" and innovative technologies, combined to deliver a vastly improved visual experience.
The first of its products is the recently introduced atLast! Enhanced Multifocal Lenses, designed to compete within the lined multifocal lens market, which sells 45 million pairs of glasses globally each year. The market has not seen any major advances in the last 30 years, according to PixelOptics. The atLast! product incorporates composite lens technology, a combination of advanced lens design technologies and well-known, proven lens materials to create "a completely new category of lens with enhanced optical and cosmetic performance."
Pixel is also developing electro-active dynamic eyewear, which the company says "changes its focus faster than the blink of an eye, and does so without moving parts." This product line will compete within the progressive addition lens market, which accounts for an additional 45 million pairs of lenses being sold each year globally.
PixelOptics was founded in 2005 by Dr. Ron Blum, entrepreneur, inventor, and former general manager of Advanced Technology for the Johnson & Johnson Spectacle Lens Group, to optimize the patented electro-active optical technology and other advances to revolutionize the visual experience of spectacle lens wearers. PixelOptics' management team is comprised of industry veterans from leading optical industry manufacturers. The team includes Dr. Blum, CEO and Chairman; Bill Spies, COO; Bill Kokonaski, CTO; Steve Holt, CFO; Robin Rhodes, VP of Professional Sales; Rod Passerelli, VP of Retail Sales; and Clay Musslewhite, Director of Marketing.
"Longitude Capital takes a stake in companies with exceptional management teams who are developing technologies and products that will help improve and positively transform health care. We believe that PixelOptics is well positioned to become a key player in the growing lens market," noted Longitude's Bakker. In July, Longitude announced a $325 million venture ecapital fund (Longitude Venture Partners, L.P.) dedicated to life science investments.
Additional investors in this funding round include The Carlyle Group, Delphi Ventures, Stark Investments, Life Science Angels, and others. Other existing PixelOptics investors include Panasonic Ventures.