“Among its strengths are its revolutionary, protected and patented technology enabling applications and trends in diverse and growing sectors, its solid corporate structure including top industry partners, and a business model that is extremely scalable thanks to royalties.”

The company

The company was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the University of Turku (Finland) when Jouko Lång and his team discovered an innovative process that could set a new standard for the efficiency and reliability of compound semiconductor devices.

In fact, Comptek stands as a game-changer in the global semiconductor industry as a forerunner in quantum surface engineering of compound semiconductors. This is the result of many years of research and has five patent families to its credit.

In the world of microelectronics, photonics and optoelectronics, devices on a chip can be made using a variety of materials, the best known of which is silicon. However, there are other materials, known as ‘compound semiconductors’, that are used in the construction of optical devices. These on-chip components find application in various technologies involving the emission of light, such as lasers, microLEDs and the latest generation of displays, for example those used in virtual and augmented reality devices.

Compound semiconductors also have several other applications, such as in power electronics used to manage battery packs in electric cars, or in the field of 5G for radio frequency emissions.

In this context, Comptek Solutions, whose CEO and co-founder is Vicente Calvo, formerly of Microsoft and Nokia, has positioned itself as an established centre of expertise since the 1990s, operating in the electronics sector. Comptek Solutions is dedicated to the development and production of industrial machinery used in the component production line. The distinguishing feature of this machinery is the application of an innovative treatment called ‘KontroxTM‘, a patented process owned by Comptek Solutions itself. This treatment controls the oxidation of components at the nanoscale level, enabling superior performance in optoelectronic devices. For example, more powerful lasers or brighter displays can be achieved thanks to the effectiveness of KontroxTM.

By improving the performance of these technologies, Comptek Solutions is helping to support important future trends in lasers, telecommunications, electrification and next-generation displays, such as those for augmented and infrared reality.

In addition to selling the machinery, the company also adopts a business model based on licences and royalties on production costs for each product processed with their machinery. Comptek Solutions provides service, maintenance and support for the machinery, as well as receiving a fee for each product that goes through their process. This model makes the company extremely scalable.

The company is preparing to undertake an investment round with a NASDAQ-listed company in the same sector. At the moment, the name of the company cannot be disclosed for strategic reasons.

Marco Cravetto, Business Analyst at LIFTT, shares the reasons behind the decision to invest in Comptek Solutions: “Among the company’s strengths,“ Marco points out, “are the company’s protected and patented technology, which enables applications and trends in diverse and growing sectors, the solid corporate structure that includes high-level industrial partners who have tested and validated the technology, and an extremely scalable business model thanks to royalties. The decision to invest in Comptek Solutions,’ Marco concludes, ‘was motivated by the combination of technological innovation, structural reliability and growth potential that the company represents in the emerging optoelectronics market.”

PM Pierluigi Freni’s comment

Our Project Manager, Pierluigi Freni, summarises the path that led LIFTT to invest in Comptek Solutions.

“We met the team last October in Lisbon,” he declares, “during the ICE day we attended. From there, the analysis that convinced us to approve the project began.”

Theirs appears to be a ‘disruptive’ proposal

“Their strength lies in a revolutionary technology in the field of semiconductors. The project consists of optimising a treatment for LED optoelectronic devices to make them brighter and more efficient. This innovation is of great relevance for TV and smartphone screens, but is also of crucial importance for VR viewers, where LED efficiency becomes crucial considering the limited battery space. The technology developed by the company stems from the team’s many years of experience and a set of patents. The CEO of Comptek Solutions, Vicente Calvo, has extensive experience in the industry, including a past at Nokia and Microsoft.”

LIFTT’s intervention this time comes at a much later stage than the ‘seed stage’…

“Our 2-million-euro investment in this company,” explains Pierluigi, “comes at a late stage in the company’s life, i.e. during the commercialisation of the product. This is indeed an unusual operation compared to our standards, but we were convinced by the validity of the technology, its competitive and performance advantage, and the opportunity to invest in a technological process that underpins entire sectors of electronics, namely the production of optoelectronic components. Furthermore, the fact that their CAP Table includes highly prestigious players is another point in their favour. However, we currently have a confidentiality agreement and cannot disclose the participants in the investment round.”

How will the proceeds of the round be used?

“Thanks to our financial contribution, Comptek Solutions will be able to finalise product development and start production, paving the way for sales. Their machinery will be destined for the semiconductor industry for wafer coating, used in the production of optoelectronic devices such as microLEDs. They are thus positioned upstream in the consumer electronics supply chain.”