Woodbury New York., Tel Aviv, Israel., Brignais, France, Feb. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Research Frontiers, and its licensee and strategic investor Gauzy Ltd. announced today that, following successfully raising $60 million in a Series D financing, Gauzy has acquired Research Frontiers licensee, Vision Systems. With the consolidation of the two companies, the combined entity now has:
- International subsidiaries on six continents
- Product availability through direct fulfillment and a distribution channel of over 70 certified industrial partners
- Five dedicated manufacturing sites
- 14 global offices
- Over 60 patents
- 20 unique product categories
- 480 employees globally
- Industry leading customers in over 50 countries
- Approximately $50 million in 2021 revenues
This strategic endeavor is the culmination of a successful Round D financing of $60M, including notable follow-on and new investors. Amongst follow-on investors are the leader of this round IBEX, along with Olive Tree VC, Blue Red Partners, Waarde Capital, and Avery Dennison. New investors include Walleye Capital, 3A Capital, Klirmark, and Davidson Capital. Cowen acted as the exclusive financial advisor for this fundraising round.
The two companies started doing business together as part of the growing Suspended Particle Device (SPD) industry which uses Research Frontiers patented light-control technology. Gauzy is a leading manufacturer of SPD light control film, and Vision Systems adds its own proprietary technology in electronics, control systems, and specialty interlayers and assembly processes, and sells SPD products for the aeronautics, mass transit, and boating industries. More recently, with the advent of wider SPD-Smart light control film coming out of Gauzy’s factory near Stuttgart, Germany using chemicals and nanoparticles that Gauzy produces in Israel, Gauzy’s SPD-Smart film is also now being used in the architectural industry. Specialized SPD-film configurations were also recently demonstrated for consumer electronics by LG Display and Gauzy at CES and the Munich Auto Show (IAA 2021) which allow a transparent window to turn into a high-definition television or other information display.
Gauzy will continue to offer its flagship light control enabling technologies, including SPD nanoparticle interlayers and hardware, via its existing and continuously growing distribution channel of over 70 certified partners and extensive portfolio of professional customers.
Imagine a light-control film that allows users to instantly change the film’s tint from clear to dark or anything in between at the touch of a button, in response to commonly-used sensors, or integrated as part of a building or vehicle’s control system. This suspended particle device (SPD-Smart) film uses specially-engineered nanoparticles suspended and distributed throughout this flexible film to accomplish this. While it might sound futuristic, it has been used reliably to replace aircraft window shades since 2001, and in tens of thousands of vehicles by Mercedes and McLaren beginning in 2011, and is scheduled for introduction on upcoming car models from Cadillac and other auto makers. It also was featured in yachts, cruise ships, museums to protect priceless artwork and collectibles such as the world’s most valuable baseball cards from visible light damage, and architectural applications such as a 10 thousand square foot roof at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015.
Building and vehicle occupants can instantly change the tint of their windows or sunroofs to help keep out harsh sunlight and heat, and create an open-air feeling even when the window or sunroof is closed. Glass or plastic using Research Frontiers’ patented SPD-SmartGlass technology effectively blocks UV and infrared rays in both clear and darkly tinted modes, helping keep interiors cooler, and protecting occupants and interiors while also enhancing security, comfort and privacy. In vehicles such as cars and trains, some of the other benefits of SPD-SmartGlass include significant heat reduction inside the vehicle (by up to 18ºF/10ºC), UV protection, glare control, reduced noise and reduced fuel consumption. Independent calculations also show that use of SPD-SmartGlass can reduce CO2 emissions by four grams per kilometer, and increase the driving range of electric vehicles by approximately 5.5 percent. The capabilities of Vision Systems and Gauzy also add strategically important ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and APAS (Advanced Passenger Assistance Systems) products to the automotive and mass transit industries.
The markets for SPD-Smart film are already well-established. Research Frontiers has licensed over 40 chemical, film, and glass companies which are selling products for the automotive, aircraft, marine, train, museum and consumer electronics industries.
Research Frontiers patented SPD-SmartGlass technology is the same best-selling smart window technology that can be found on tens of thousands of various existing cars from Mercedes and McLaren, and on upcoming car models from Cadillac and other auto makers. In addition to cars, products using Research Frontiers’ smart glass technology are being used in aircraft, yachts, trains, homes, offices, museums and other buildings. It can be used to replace mechanical shading elements in buildings and vehicles, and can create privacy on demand.
In addition to its certified laminators and other industrial partners, Gauzy has an established customer base in built environments and various mobility divisions, strategically aligned with leading brands such as Avery Dennison and Hyundai, and chosen by customers such as LG Display, BMW, Texas Instruments, Gensler, Clestra Hausermann, and many more for light control technology needs. Vision Systems now brings to Gauzy the largest market share of cockpit shading solutions, and new core industries to service including private and commercial aviation, marine, railway, bus and coach, and motorhomes. Trusted customers in these industries include HondaJet, Airbus, Dassault, Fritzmeier, Prevost and a number of others.
Eyal Peso, Carl Putman and Joseph Harary, the CEOs of Gauzy, Vision Systems and Research Frontiers, respectively, issued this statement about the transaction and the new company and the benefits for customers and the entire smart glass industry: “When smart glass was first introduced by our companies, we had to prove that it would work reliably. With more experience and more projects in the field for longer periods than any other smart glass technology, we demonstrated this. Now the market requires that a new level of intelligence be added to the control systems that make our glass smart to further improve the energy efficiency, safety, and comfort of smart homes and buildings, and vehicles. The combined capabilities of our three companies transform glass into information, entertainment, privacy and shading systems to allow our customers to enhance these benefits.
About Gauzy Ltd.
Gauzy is a world leading vendor of material science and nanotechnology, focused on the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of technologies which are embedded into and onto raw materials. Among Gauzy’s core areas of expertise are LC and SPD, which are used to produce LCG® (Light Control Glass). The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv Israel, with an additional production facility in Germany, and sales, marketing, and distribution sites in multiple US cities and China. Learn more at www.gauzy.com, and on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook.
Gauzy has a recently-expanded state-of-the-art material synthesis facility in Israel, and a custom 11,000 square meter SPD production facility strategically located near Stuttgart, Germany. This production site is dedicated to producing 1,000,000sqm of SPD material yearly for the automotive and architectural industries. Gauzy’s state-of-the-art production techniques have brought down the cost of SPD-Smart light control technology significantly, has shortened delivery times to customers, and have added new capabilities and functionality to the world of smart glass.
About Vision Systems
Headquartered near Lyon, France, with a production and sales unit in Florida, USA, and trade offices in Singapore, Dubai and Montreal, Vision Systems Corporate is a tier-one system supplier that designs, produces and markets complete bespoke solutions for the aeronautic, land transport and marine industries. The Vision Systems business unit is a major player in shading, comfort management, and high-end composite solutions. The Safety Tech business unit is a pioneer and a world market leader on camera-based Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and benefits from a position of leadership in Europe on driver protection doors. Vision Systems Corporate combines complementary skills in electronics, mechanics and composite to provide ever more innovative solutions for cost reduction, heightened safety and improved comfort.
About Research Frontiers Inc.
Research Frontiers (Nasdaq: REFR) is a publicly traded technology company and the developer of patented SPD-Smart light-control film technology which allows users to instantly, precisely and uniformly control the shading of glass or plastic products, either manually or automatically. Research Frontiers has licensed its smart glass technology to over 40 companies that include well known chemical, material science and glass companies. Products using Research Frontiers’ smart glass technology are being used in tens of thousands of cars, aircraft, yachts, trains, homes, offices, museums and other buildings. For more information, please visit our website at www.SmartGlass.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Note: From time to time Research Frontiers may issue forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results, especially those reliant on activities by third parties, could differ and are not guaranteed. Any forward-looking statements should be considered accordingly. “SPD-Smart” and “SPD-SmartGlass” are trademarks of Research Frontiers Inc. “LCG®” (Light Control Glass) is a trademark of Gauzy Ltd. “Cadillac” is a trademark of General Motors. “MAGIC SKY CONTROL” and “Mercedes-Benz” are trademarks of Daimler AG.
For further information, please contact:
Founder and CEO
Brittany Kleiman Swisa
VP of Marketing
Joseph M. Harary
President and CEO
Research Frontiers Inc.
Marketing & Communication Manager