LONDON Kovio Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.), the startup developing manufacturing technology that combines the low cost of graphics printing with the functionality of silicon-based semiconductor integrated circuits, has raised $20 million in Series E funding.
The company has previously raised around $44 million since it was formed in 2001 as a spin-out from the MIT Media Laboratory by a team of scientists.
Return backers include Bessemer Venture Partners, DAG Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mitsui Ventures, Northgate Capital, Panasonic Venture Group, Pangaea Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures and Yasuda Enterprise Development.
The company says the money will be used to start volume shipments of its RF Barcodes that it describes as a new category of barcode. Kovio's printed silicon platform can also be applied to a range of other applications, including printable sensors and flexible displays.
The company rolled out its silicon ink printing scheme last October. It suggested then its process can reduce the cost of RFID tags using ink-jet printing by as much as 15 cents to between 5 to 10 cents each. High-volume roll-to-roll printing could further reduce costs.