Careglance is a deeptech startup in the field of micro-optics and photonics born in 2019, which has conceived and patented an innovative proposal in the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) industry, with a high potential of applications (from ophthalmology to different industrial fields) and growth: the CAGR of the next decade is estimated around 9.8%, in a market currently worth $1.2 billion.
LIFTT’s investment aims to intercept the enormous potential of OCT technology, a type of laser-based interferometric measurement, like TAC but with significantly higher acquisition speed and image resolution, which is achieving a disruptive impact in the medical and industrial fields. Today, tomographic examination ranks first in medical diagnosis and monitoring of retinal pathologies and is obviously set to grow with the aging of the world population; in the industrial field, possible OCT applications range from the semiconductor sector to the automotive industry.
New generation OCTs with HD 3D-imaging details and a wider field of view have recently been launched in the market: Careglance fits into this growth trend with a patented ultrafast, compact laser technology called “Swept Source” (“tunable source”) that will enable a “portable,” reliable, real-time OCT to be manufactured and marketed within the end of next year.
Careglance’s technology allows for a fifty percent reduction in the current industrial cost of swept sources-an upgrade that, in addition to greatly improving diagnostic systems, will be able to expand the use of OCT in surgery and in the new generation of dynamic sensors required by the evolution of Industry 4.0.
The company has already set collaborations with industrial entities in the OCT sector for diagnostic tests in ophthalmology, as well as having a structured customer portfolio. With prototyping at an advanced stage, CareGlance is building partnerships with industries involved in food and in-line quality control of laser welding processes.
LIFTT’s investment will complete the development and validation of the technology in ophthalmology, while applications of such technology in industry are being funded by customers and will be carried out in parallel. First sales of the new device are expected in 2023.
Careglance’s founders have strong expertise in industrial photonics: CEO Maria Chiara Ubaldi has worked for two decades in photonic technologies from telecommunications to renewable energy, in both R&D and project management roles, mainly for Pirelli’s optical division. Executive Chairman Eugenio Iannone has several decades of experience in photonics at Pirelli and Cisco System, and significant experience as founder of successful start-ups.
LIFTT CEO Giovanni Tesoriere commented: “Careglance holds a disruptive value proposition: an extremely versatile product, capable of cutting costs in a market with a high growth trend. These are assets that have been immediately recognized by the market: despite being a startup, Careglance already has partnerships and business collaborations with top players in the industry.
“CareGlance is pleased to announce the entry into the corporate structure of LIFTT venture capital, one of the few in Italy with the mission of betting on Italian deep tech companies. Supporting hardware startups is relatively new in our Country, and it is a great incentive for a revival of the Italian role in the international landscape of advanced technology. LIFTT’s important financial support in the road from prototyping to production in CareGlance bears witness of a mutual trust that will accompany us in our growth, affirming our presence in the market with innovative optical sensors in the medical and industrial fields.” commented Careglance CEO Maria Chiara Ubaldi.