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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - SET Ventures II case study: Luxexcel (Netherlands), Medical industry

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Luxexcel is the only company in the world capable of producing 3D print ophthalmic lenses. The company’s technology can add an augmented or virtual reality onto mainstream lenses, embed sensors, filters or create new shapes. “A trifocal lens, for example, would be particularly useful to golfers or pilots who have to pay attention to different heights and panels,” says Hans Streng, CEO of Luxexcel.

Luxexcel’s 3D printing technology is fundamentally different from traditional ophthalmic lens fabrication methods, which begin with semi-finished lens blanks then grind and polish the lens, at the expense of high inventory, complex finishing and a significant waste of material. Instead, Luxexcel prints the lenses which are optically clear and smooth and immediately ready for coating processes when they leave the 3D printer. Their objective is to ‘change the way ophthalmic lenses are made’ and create unique new eyeglasses not possible with traditional technology.

“The applicability of the technology is immense – it can produce mainstream lenses and 3D ones for all sorts of different uses. But we can’t be shooting in a million directions,” says Hans. “We needed to focus our attention on a particular market,” explains Hans. “It’s hard to pass on 20 or 30 different opportunities, but we needed to focus the business in order to ensure success,” he adds.

Thanks to an investment from SET Ventures, a venture capital firm specialised in high-tech start-ups and supported by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe, Luxexcel was able to undertake significant restructuring of the company, focusing its efforts and boosting its commercial potential, doubling the number of employees. “It was a matter of sinking or swimming,” says Hans, who designed a market approach that permitted the commercialisation of the technology with lens-producing industries following a B2B business model. As a result, the company is not only still swimming, but actually leading the industry.

“Luxexcel is no quick game – we’re not about developing the technology and exiting. Our employees have to think in the long-term. We want to erupt onto the market and stay,” says Hans.

Company: Luxexcel (Netherlands)

Type of business: Medical industry

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG, EFSI

Financial intermediary: SET Ventures II

For further information about EIF intermediaries in the Netherlands, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/nl

 

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