The ZEISS Ventures portfolio is growing with the investment in Morrow, a high-tech start-up from Belgium, developing autofocal glasses that allow switching between near vision and distance vision at the touch of a button.
Morrow, founded in 2016, is specialized in developing and manufacturing liquid crystal technology solutions for application in lenses to enable electrified multifocal glasses that switch focal length between distance and near. The innovative liquid crystal technology is embedded between two ultra-precise, thin-cut optical lenses and can be activated by applying a small dose of electrical power, which in turn instructs the liquid crystal to refract light in a predetermined manner. In 2021, Morrow launched its first product in the Belgian market that allows the wearer to switch between near vision and distance vision at the touch of a button.
“While AR/VR devices are on everyone’s mind today the general electrification and functionalization of glasses and their lenses is an area many times overlooked. Solutions such as the one developed by Morrow are key in enabling this”, says Gerrit Schulte Head of ZEISS Ventures. The investment is led by ZEISS Ventures together with New Science Ventures (NSV) and joined by all currently invested investors such as imec.xpand, PMV, Tokai and Qbic.
“We are extremely glad that ZEISS Ventures subscribes to our vision: to improve yours, by functionalizing eyeglasses. This unique partnership helps us to further roll out our product roadmap, and together with current shareholders, build out a common platform for electronic glasses.” explains Dr. Paul Marchal Founder and CEO of Morrow.
Morrow is a technology company developing and marketing electronic glasses for improving people’s vision. Their flagship product are Autofocals, glasses that switch focal length with a touch of a button, between far and near, and offer higher comfort. The solution is based on Morrow’s patented and record-breaking tunable lens-in-foil platform. Morrow
Founded in 2016, Morrow is a spin-off from imec, Leuven, and the University of Ghent, headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. The company currently employs more than 23 people from 8 different nationalities. It has received more than > 25M EUR Investments from ZEISS Ventures, imec, imec.xpand, QBIC, NSV, Tokai, and the Flemish Government.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 7.5 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2021).
For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces, and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world’s leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses, and binoculars.
With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare, and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company’s significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS’ technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.
With around 37,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies, and 27 research and development facilities (status: 31 March 2022). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.