On Tuesday, Switzerland’s Scrona, the additive manufacturing startup spun off from leading global research university ETH Zurich, announced that it has successfully closed a $9.6 million Series A venture capital round. The round was led by AM Ventures, a niche venture capital fund that specializes in 3D printing companies, with syndicate partners including early-stage VC TRUMPF Venture, Swiss science and tech VC Verve Ventures and Manz GmbH Management Consulting and Investment. The $9.6 million includes $6.7 million from the Series A, plus an additional $2.9 million grant by the Swiss Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
In tandem with the financing announced, Scrona unveiled its latest innovation, described as the industry’s first multi-nozzle electrostatic printhead for mass manufacturing to speed product invention in an economical and eco-friendly way, with unprecedented printing resolution in the sub-micrometer range. The new capital will allow Scrona to accelerate the industrialization and commercialization of this novel printing technology and develop new applications across multiple industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, high-end displays, electronics, and PCB. For example, the resolution and layer thickness control of Scrona’s technology enables printing of quantum dot RGB color filters for high-brightness, full-color micro LED displays in augmented reality glasses for gaming and metaverse applications.
“Scrona is enabling customers to digitally print the impossible – on any material, at scale, improving the speed, accuracy and cost of manufacturing today and tomorrow’s innovative products,” Scrona Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Patrick Galliker said in a statement. “We are very excited to be supported by this syndicate of expert investors who understand the disruptive potential of Scrona’s scalable printing technology, which has the ability to reduce manufacturing steps 10-fold, while also significantly reducing material, energy and water usage.”
The technology is based on the electrostatic ejection principle which provides very fine, submicron-scale printing and jetting, while allowing the adoption of various ink materials—such as metals, dielectrics, organic, and biomaterials, with inks that are more than 100 times more viscous than those compatible with conventional inkjet printheads, delivering flexibility and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing. Until now, printing of inks with unlike properties from one and the same printhead with high resolution and throughput has not been possible.
“There is enormous potential of the Scrona technology in additive manufacturing because its technology can process materials that are simply not processable with other printheads today, ” said AM Ventures Managing Partner Johann Oberhofer. “The combination of the highest resolution and the ability to overcome restrictions around high-performance materials of current processes is unique. I expect that Scrona’s technology will enable completely new applications and we are glad to accompany them on their journey together with a strong investor line-up.”
“A broad spectrum of materials can be printed at industrial scale with Scrona’s advantageous technology. This is a quantum leap for a wide range of industries from semiconductors to molecular printing in biotechnology,” said Michael Blank, Head of Verve Ventures’ investment team.