The main change Elephantech ushers in to the PCB process is that while electronic circuits are typically made through so-called “subtractive” manufacturing which involves layering an entire surface with metal before dissolving the areas that aren’t necessary, with Elephantech’s “pure additive” process, it only puts metals in place where they are needed to begin with. Nothing is subsequently removed (i.e. wasted).
The company also says that its nanoparticle inkjet technology helps cut costs by 32%, through removing a number of procedures from the manufacturing process.
To meet its mission “to create a sustainable world through resource-and energy-efficient manufacturing technologies,” Elephantech has secured 2.15 billion yen (~$15 million) in funding, at a 12.3 billion yen ($88 million) valuation, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The new capital, which brings its total raised to approximately 7 billion yen ($50 million) since its inception in 2014, will help the startup scale its business from R&D and its current production volume, which is focused on its domestic market, to target customers globally.
Elephantech started the mass production of its PCBs two years ago in its Nagoya facility, and while it is currently focused on single-sided flexible substrates, it plans to produce multi-layered and rigid PCBs, which constitute different layers, including a copper layer, substrate layer and silkscreen layer.
The company said that its inkjet printing technology can also be used in other sectors such as healthcare, optics, and textiles.
The outfit said the process could reduce about 48% of CO2 emissions when clothes are recycled with a different pattern compared to chemical recycling, which reduces about 20% of the carbon emissions.
So it’s clear that there is a growing impetus to optimize and improve on a technology that powers just about every electronic contraption there is, from smartphones to microwave ovens. Combined with growing environmental concerns and the role that electronics plays in that, Elephantech is perhaps in a strong position to gain traction in global markets, and its latest cash injection will go some way toward helping.
Elephantech’s funding round included investments from Anri V Investment, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Nose, Shizuoka Capital, Eiwa Corporation, Nanobank, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Kenbishi Sake Brewing, D&I Investment, Epson, Sumimoto, East Ventures and Beyond Next Ventures.
Elephantech wants to create circuit boards that are kinder to the environment by Kate Park originally published on TechCrunch