Today we are delighted to publish the companies that have ranked 1 to 5 in the New Materials News’ list of the top 10 companies operating in the quantum dot sector. The companies listed were Nanoco, Nanosys, Quantum Materials, Samsung and QD Vision.
Our list of the top quantum dot companies was motivated by the number of requests we received for fine-grained information on companies active in this fast-growing area of the industry. Sadly good-quality information was very thin on the ground. Announced earlier this year, we wanted to identify those companies that we thought were well-placed to take advantage of the growth that the industry would experience over the next decade.
In this process we want to cover companies active at all stages of the quantum dot supply chain, not only those firms that were active in manufacturing quantum dots. As a result, our enquiries extended to companies that were active in integrating quantum dots into their existing product ranges, like some of the largest displays manufacturers.
The process was conducted in a number of extended stages. First, we called for nominations, and we were delighted to receive over 250 from sector executives, researchers, investors, and other sector professionals and stakeholders. Secondly, we asked for more information from the 16 companies that made it on to our longlist of firms. This information was then passed on to a small committee of judges who created and ranked the final list of companies.
The league table: places 1 to 5
|1||Nanoco||2001||UK||Michael Edelman||Public||QD Manufacturer|
|2||Nanosys||2001||USA||Jason Hartlove||Private||QD Manufacturer|
|3||Quantum Materials||2007||USA||Stephen Squires||Public||QD Manufacturer|
|5||QD Vision||2004||USA||Mustafa Ozgen||Private||QD Manufacturer|
|4||Samsung Electronics||1938||South Korea||Oh-Hyun Kwon||Public||Consumer Electronics Manufacturer|
We published places 6 to 10 of the league table last week.
Founded in 2001, Nanoco is one of the largest manufacturers of cadmium-free quantum dots, retailed under its CFQD brand. Initially targeting the screen market, it has recently started to expand into other industries, selling its quantum dots for use in lighting, solar cells and bio-imaging. The firm launched a dedicated lighting division earlier this year.
The company reported revenues of £1.4 million last year, largely owing to an exclusive manufacturing and marketing licensing agreement with The Dow Chemical Company for the displays industry. Dow is currently working with a number of displays manufacturers in South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan and the US.
The company also generates revenues from its lighting division, and has signed deals with Marl International and Osram. It recently announced its intention to sell a new product, deep-red quantum dot film, to the specialist agricultural market as this type of light promotes plant growth, and volume production is expected to start before the end of this year.
In May this year, the company transitioned to the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) from AIM, the junior market of the LSE. In the process, the company raised proceeds of £18.65 million and now has approximately £24 million of cash on its balance sheet.
Headed by Michael Edelman, the company is headquartered in Manchester, UK, with a American subsidiary based in Concord, Massachusetts. It has production facilities in Runcord, UK, and business development offices in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The firm holds about 300 patents (granted or patent pending), covering its proprietary mass production process, its non-toxic quantum dot materials, surface chemistry, as well as applications for using its quantum dots.
Founded in 2001, Nanosys is, by some reports, the largest quantum dots company in the industry. It manufactures both cadmium and cadmium-free quantum dots, and has significant corporate partnerships with a number of large consumer electronics companies, including Samsung, 3M and AU Optronics.
These companies either license Nanosys’ quantum dots technologies or use its quantum dot enhancement film, retailed under its brand QDEF. These corporate deals have enabled the company to integrate its technology into some of the first and best-selling consumer electronics, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, ASUS Zenbook, Dolby monitors, and TCL and Hisense TVs.
Based in Milpitas in Silicon Valley, California, the company is led by Jason Hartlove, and has raised approximately $150 million in venture capital since its founding from investors including Samsung, 3M, Applied Materials, Venrock, Polaris and Lux Capital.
Its production facility in Silicon Valley is the largest of its kind in the world. With a size of 60,000 square foot, it is the only plant approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for the mass production of quantum dots.
Although the company does not publically publish its revenues, it has confirmed it was profitable in 2014 and said the year “was a milestone year for growth.” The firm holds about 310 patents (patents granted and patents pending).
3. Quantum Materials
Founded in 2007, Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC) retails cadmium-free quantum dots under its QDX Heat-Resistant QD brand. The firm sells its quantum dots for use in a number of industries, including the displays, solar cells, lighting, energy storage, inks and medical imaging sectors.
Its QDX range of quantum dots, launched in May this year, is capable of withstanding temperatures of about 260 degrees Celsius, allowing them to better withstand the heat needed in the LED display production line and constant high temperatures from use in solid state lighting. It means QMC’s quantum dots can be encapsulated in resins, silicones and other polymers.
In a pivotal announcement for the firm, Quantum Materials announced last month it had entered into a funded project development agreement with Nitto Denko, the Japanese optical film manufacturer. The deal may signal a turning point for the company as it seeks to catch up with competitors and secure deals to commercialise its quantum dots. It also sees the company carve out a space for itself in the optical film sector.
Led by Stephen Squires, the company is currently based in San Marcos, Texas. Listed on OTC Markets, it confirmed earlier this year it would be seeking a listing on a mainstream market, and had appointed a new CFO to complete this transition. The only major US-listed quantum dots company, the firm has more than 1,000 shareholders.
In its latest SEC filings, the company reported that it had total assets of about $530,000, with net liabilities of $3.7 million. The firm also wholly owns Solterra Renewable Technologies, a quantum dot-powered solar cells company.
4. Samsung Electronics
Founded in 1938, Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of TVs. Now almost 78 years old, the South Korean electronics giant employs over 489,000 employees.
In 2015, Samsung announced it would release its first range of TVs with quantum dot technology under its ‘SUHD’ label. The South Korean conglomerate licenses Nanosys’ cadmium-free QD technology and the firm has invested money into Nanosys in the past.
Whereas its competitors, such as LG, have firmly backed OLEDs, Samsung stopped employing OLEDs in its TV screens this year in favour of LCDs with quantum dot technology. The company has said LCD TVs with QD features will be a focal point for its high-end TV screen line in 2016.
However in August the South Korean news publication, ET News, reported that Samsung was developing a film with similar qualities to quantum dots for use in its TVs. It said the company was looking to commercialise the technology over the next 3 years and that the film would cost a fraction of quantum dots.
5. QD Vision
Founded in 2004, QD Vision is one of the leading providers of quantum dots solutions for display systems. It retails its quantum dot LEDs under its Color IQ brand, which are used by various high-profile displays manufacturers, including Sony, TCL, Hisense, and Philips.
The company says that it is well-placed in the market because it has “significant momentum with top-tier customers.” In fact, Sony selected QD Vision as its partner to develop the world’s first commercially-available QD-based television in 2013, and this year the company worked with MMD (Philips Monitors) to develop and launch the first quantum dot desktop monitor.
QD Vision works exclusively in developing quantum dot technologies for screens and displays, and has not shown any intention of expanding into other industries and sectors, such as lighting and healthcare.
The firm, which uses cadmium in its product range, has robustly defended its use of the element. In fact, it believes that competitors, such as Nanoco, who have launched cadmium-free quantum dot solutions, are not able to rival the color gamut and energy efficiency performance offered by cadmium solutions. In a recent statement their CEO said that alternative non-cadmium-based quantum dots could not “match these important performance characteristics.”
The company is currently privately held, but there has been suggestions that the firm might be eyeing a public listing before the end of the year or in Q1 2016. In a statement given to Reuters in August 2015, former CEO Jason Carlson said he considered an IPO to be a possibility in 2015.
QD Vision has raised about $100 million in venture funding to date, and its investors include Bridge Venture Partners, Capricorn Investment Group, DTE Energy Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, In-Q-Tel, Novus Energy Partners and Passport Capital.
Led by Mustafa Ogzen, the company has its corporate headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts, although it has manufacturing operations in Taiwan. As the company has robustly targeted Asian displays manufacturers for partnerships, it also has sales and support operations in China, Korea and Japan.
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