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Holochip Backers Invest $2.7M
Dec 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 18, 2007 -- Holochip Corp., a maker of adaptive polymer lenses (APLs) with tunable focal lengths, announced that its funding round raised $2.7 million, led by venture capital firm ITU Ventures of Los Angeles.

Holochip said the funds raised by the series A round will allow it to expand its product and market development activities, primarily in the US and Japan.

Holochip was founded in 2004 with initial funding from ITU Ventures and the investment group New Mexico Angels, among others. Its APLs allow focal length to be adjusted without changing the location of the lens, which allows zoom lens to be made small enough to fit into cell phone cameras and other mobile devices. The company licensed adaptive lens technology last summer from the University of Central Florida (See Pact Zooms in on Lenses).

Holochip's first product, a specialty APL for optical research and engineering applications, was introduced at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2007 in May.

Albuquerque-based Holochip also said it received a strategic investment from trading and technology company Itochu Corp. of Japan and the companies have formed a partnership for fabricating and selling Holochip's APL products in that country. Holochip said the partnership will help it to improve the image quality of its lenses and reduce the size and weight of cameras incorporating its APLs. Itochu's subsidiaries include businesses focused in the telecommunications, technology, aerospace and electronics industries.

"Our strategy is to bring new growth opportunities to promising companies and to help them develop an Asian market strategy, and this is one of the most important deals that Itochu has made in this area in quite some time," said Hiroo Inoue, Itochu's managing executive officer.

"With this investment and partnership, Itochu has clearly shown their confidence in Holochip's adaptive lens solutions," said Robert G. Batchko, PhD, president and CEO of Holochip. "The investment also highlights their belief that Holochip's APL technology has significant market potential for camera, cellular phone and optics manufacturers. We feel very fortunate to have Itochu as a partner and strongly believe that the combination of our APLs their authority in the marketplace will provide significant value to customers in Japan and around the world."

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