QustomDot, a startup from Ghent that produces quantum dots to improve display performances, recently raised 3 million euros through a VC investment round with Qbic II, PMV and VIGO Ventures. EY Lawyer Ruben Schoenmaekers supported the founders via the EYnovation program.
Sustainable LED displays
QustomDot produces on-chip grade and cadmium-free quantum dots. The high-end technology of quantum dots (QD) is revolutionizing the display industry: the technology allows television screens to increase its image quality enormously. To push the technology further and enable deeper penetration of QD displays in all possible markets, more reliable QD technology is needed. In the current market it can be only achieved with cadmium QD, which is a quite polluting component. That’s where QustomDot wants to make a difference: they produce robust cadmium-free quantum dots.
Search for investors
In order to extend their team and further develop the technology, QustomDot needed the support of investors. How did they start this process? CEO Kim De Nolf explains: “The very first contact we had with PMV was quite organic, we just attended one of their events in Ghent.” TechTransfer, part of the Ghent University, helped Kim to search for further relevant investors.
“We have had multiple conversations with different VC’s over the years. They showed a serious interest and gave us some feedback on approaching the right market. They continued following our progress and developments… until they invited us to pitch in front of the investment committee. “, Kim De Nolf continues.
QustomDot can further revolutionize the display industry. The sustainable aspect of their technology appeals to the investors, because the end-customer is willing to pay for eco-friendly products. QustomDot got lucky to get interest from multiple investors and was able to form a strong consortium.
Getting Investor Ready
Kim De Nolf previously attended the EYnovation Bootcamp on Getting Investor Ready and one of our workshops about Negotiating Term Sheets. “The best part of the Bootcamp was discovering the investor’s point of view. Frank Maene from Volta Ventures explained the steps of an investment process on the investor’s side, which was totally new information for me at that time.”, Kim explains.
“Next to that, the experts from EY Law taught me a lot about the content of term sheets and all the clauses that such term sheets contain: what is normal, and what’s not? Most importantly, I remembered that you have to pick your battles! Don’t negotiate every clause in the contract, but choose wisely. Which aspects are important to you? Which ones are essential for the investor? This information gives you a stronger negotiation in the end.”, Kim continues.
Negotiating Term Sheets
Ruben Schoenmaekers, EY Lawyer, further supported QustomDot when negotiations got real. Ruben listened to Kim’s concerns and suggested how to negotiate the term sheets with the investors. As the deal is official, Kim retrospects on the collaboration: “Ruben helped us a lot with his advice! I’m so pleased with this collaboration, and even more excited about the future for QustomDot!”
How can Ruben help your startup? Click here to book a free session with him for legal advice!
Kim will speak about QustomDots’ road to funding on March 25! Register here for the In the Spotlight: Corporate Venturing