Ostendo Raising Funds to Advance Virtual Reality Display Technology
Ostendo Technologies, a Carlsbad, CA-based company founded in 2005 to advance curved screens and other innovative display technologies, has raised $41.8 million of a new financing round intended to bring in $62.8 million, according to a recent regulatory filing.
The financing includes both new investment funding and a conversion of debt to equity, according to a notation in the filing. It’s unclear, though, if the $41.8 million disclosed in a July 14 filing includes $27.3M in debt and debt conversion the company previously disclosed in two April filings.
Adding to the confusion, the most-recent MoneyTree Report on San Diego venture capital activity shows that Ostendo raised almost $10 million in VC funding during the second quarter.
Ostendo declined my request to talk with CEO Hussein El-Ghoroury about the new funding and about the virtual reality display technology the company has been developing for over a decade. Ostendo spokesman SeongSoo Kim wrote in an e-mail, “We prefer not to be covered by any media at this moment.”
Ostendo began selling its CRVD 43-inch computer display monitor in 2009, saying at the time that it was the world’s first curved desktop computer monitor for playing computer games, editing video, conducting training simulations, and other uses.
In recent years, however, the company seems to be more focused on advancing its virtual reality display technology.
A 2014 article published by The Wall Street Journal describes the technology, officially known as a Quantum Photonic Imager (QPI), as miniature projectors, roughly the size of Tic Tacs, designed to emit crisp videos and 3-D images for smartphones and giant screens. According to the article, Ostendo’s QPI technology “fuses an image processor with a wafer containing micro light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, alongside software that helps the unit properly render images.”
The Journal also reported at the time that Ostendo had raised $90 million from venture capital firms and Peter Thiel, the investor and PayPal co-founder.
In August, 2014, the Defense Department said it had awarded a $58.3 million contract to Ostendo to provide the Air Force with a synthetic-holographic 3D workstation prototype. The work is to be completed by this October 17, according to the DoD contract announcement.
Ostendo’s investors were not identified in the regulatory filing. However, Babak Razi, the founder of Beverly Hills, CA-based Third Wave Ventures, sits on Ostendo’s board of directors, along with Barak Bussel, a partner at Third Wave Ventures, and David Dull, the former general counsel for Broadcom, the Avago Technologies subsidiary based in Irvine, CA.
Razi, Bussel, and Dull are also on the board of Ingenu, the San Diego wireless technology company known previously as On-Ramp Wireless.