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Ukrainian-founded XPANCEO closes $40M to launch world’s first smart contact lenses with AR vision

Xpanceo team
Picture credits: Xpanceo

Headquartered in Dubai, XPANCEO, a deep tech startup, has raised $40 million in seed funding. The round was led by Hong Kong-based Opportunity Ventures (Asia).

Plans to launch world’s first ultra thin lens

The fresh investment will be used to launch the first contact lenses with AR vision features. This prototype will gather several features in one device. The company has already created three prototypes for night vision, zoom, real-time health monitoring and AR content watching features.

After several attempts by other companies to create smart lenses, XPANCEO has created and successfully tested three separate prototypes in the laboratory. These lenses enable night vision and zoom, real-time health monitoring, and the ability to see video and graphic content in AR.

The new device touted to be the world’s first ultra thin lens, feels as natural to the wearer as their own vision. It is made of advanced optical materials that exhibit record-breaking refractive indices and anisotropy and maintain excellent optical properties. The new device is aimed to unleash the full potential of AR technology by making it accessible and easy to use.

XPANCEO combines over 20 patented technologies in Advanced Optic and Photonics, Novel material, AI, and Neural Interfacing to create ultra-compact and highly efficient optoelectronic devices in smart contact lenses, paving the way for a gradual transition from traditional silicon technologies to the graphene valley future.

This new ultra thin, smart contact lenses will replace bulky AR glasses, and allow humans to use features such as night vision, zoom, health monitoring, and content-watching

Brainchild of Ukrainian scientist

XPANCEO was founded by Valentyn S. Volkov, a Ukrainian scientist who boasts over 7,000 citations in some of the most respected international media, and Roman Axelrod, an experienced entrepreneur with three previous exits.

XPANCEO’s multidisciplinary team includes over 50 outstanding scientists, engineers and executive leaders from top universities, research institutions and deep tech companies.

The company collaborates with top scientists from universities all around the world to create the first all-in-one prototype by 2026.

Another key technology developed by XPANCEO is its flexible and transparent electronics, based on highly conductive quasi-2D metallic films with thicknesses of only a few nanometres. It employs AI to develop models capable of accurate predictions regarding the optical characteristics of similar materials. Neural Interfacing gives the user full control over the applications, without the need for awkward eye movements, blinks, or extra controllers.

Co-founder and Scientific Partner, Valentyn S. Volkov, Ph.D. said: ”We are targeting, at least, the $790 billion Augmented Reality and Contact Lenses market, and creating the first device in the market that will allow us to use all apps and software in a single contact lens interface. Our device will effectively merge all your gadgets into one. XPANCEO was recognized as one of the top five optic laboratories in the world by international consulting firm BCG, and has practical experience in developing and studying unique materials (like graphene and other 2D materials), opening a way for the realization of next-generation ultra-compact optoelectronic devices.”

Opportunity Venture’s (Asia) Managing Director Philip Ma said: “We led this round of funding as a testament to the fact that XPANCEO has not merely an ambition but also a capacity to deliver on its product vision. We believe that now XPANCEO has all the resources needed to drive their R&D and product design forward, and do it even faster. Opportunity Venture (Asia) sees the potential in XPANCEO to define the next generation of computing and to become a major player in the world of personal tech in the post smartphone era.”

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