German private equity firms support the companies in their portfolios even during economically difficult times. Novaled AG from Dresden is one current example. The company successfully operates in the OLED technology sector and has recently received EUR 8.5 million in additional equity from German venture capital firms, despite the general uncertainties in the financial markets. This shows that private equity firms are willing and determined to strengthen their portfolio companies, providing them with additional capital even during the financial crisis. The latest financing round was the third since the young company received its initial venture capital finance in 2003.
Steady growth and more than 100 employees today
Novaled AG’s success story reads like every student’s dream. The initial basic research at Dresden University has now matured into globally leading OLED technology which is of greatest interest to large companies in the display sector as well as firms in the lighting sector that use it for their product innov-ations. In 2010, numerous mobile-phone models with OLED displays were developed to market maturity. In the lighting sector, several companies are also currently presenting prototypes, some of them in cooperation with Novaled AG at the lighting sector’s leading trade fair, the Light+Building 2010 in Frankfurt.
Three partners founded the company in 2001. After becoming an active market player in 2003 and generating sales growth rates of around 40%, Novaled now expects sales in the two-digit million euro range in 2010. Today, the company employs more than 100 people and has cooperations throughout the world.
Novaled secures its know-how in an extensive portfolio of more than 400 patents which it is constantly expanding. The company is the global leader in the OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) technology sector and specialises in high-efficient, durable OLED structures. It has already won numerous awards for its visionary concept. The trade journals Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche both regard Novaled as the No. 1 amongst future global market leaders, based on an economic study from 2008. In addition, the company won the prestigious CleanEquity Award 2010 presented by CleanEquity Monaco and the Audemars Piguet Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009.
This growth has been realised and financed thanks to long-term investment partners (from the private equity sector) such as eCAPITAL, TechnoStart and KfW in Germany as well as Crédit Agricole Private Equity, TechFund and CDC Innovation in France. Considering the success of the company, the private equity firms did not hesitate to provide additional equity when the company required it last year. ‘We have been investing in Novaled since the end of 2005. Since that time, management has successfully developed the company into a leading global player in the OLED sector,’ explains Dr Paul-Josef Patt, CEO of eCAPITAL.
Investment capital strengthens equity base
‘Our investors have proven their trust in the Novaled team and management by using their most recent financing round for strengthening our equity base in the long term. We are extremely pleased about that, especially considering the current climate in the financial markets,’ says Harry Boehme, CFO of Novaled AG. ‘These funds will help support our strategy. We will continue to improve the added value of our customers by providing pioneering solutions for energy-efficient and durable organic electronics applications.’