Canatu Oy has announced a capital raise of 12 million euro consisting of new investors DENSO Corporation and Ascend Capital Partners alongside existing investor Faurecia.

The Finnish nanotechnology start-up makes 3D formable and stretchable transparent conductive films and touch sensors for the next generation of screens.

“These significant strategic investments coupled with partnerships enable Canatu to accelerate product development, further develop the mass production automatization, fasten market expansion and expand to new strategic product areas,” said Canatu Oy CEO Juha Kokkonen.

“This funding also strengthens our global geographical presence especially in Asia and Europe.”

A new strategic investor, Japanese leading global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation, has invested 6 million euro into Canatu Oy.

DENSO believes Canatu’s 3D technologies offer great product and business opportunities in the mobility technology of the future.

“DENSO wants to be in the forefront of the development in future mobility,” said Hirotsugu Takeuchi, executive director at DENSO Corporation.

“Based on this vision we wanted to invest to Canatu because we trust the unique technology can be used in several product areas of the future’s driving.”

The other new strategic investor, Ascend Capital Partners, is a China and Europe focused venture capital firm.

They are helping to further Canatu’s expansion into the fast-moving Chinese automotive markets with their investment of 4 million euro and simultaneous purchase of existing shares.

Jörg Buchholz, partner at Ascend Capital Partners said: “Ascend's strong connections in the automotive industry in Europe and China will help Canatu develop partnerships to expand globally.

“The trend towards electric vehicles and autonomous driving is a major focus for Ascend as we seek companies with innovative solutions sought by the sector.

“We believe Canatu's technology and products show great potential for our OEM and Tier 1 supplier network and will play an important part in this period of tremendous change for the automotive industry.”

Faurecia, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, is convinced of the potential of Canatu’s unique formable touch sensors, which enable design freedom for the cockpit of the future.

Faurecia wants to deepen the relationship with Canatu through an additional investment of 2 million euro.