On May 6, 2020, Inuru GmbH announced a € 2.3 Million Series-A funding round let by the Warsaw based venture capital fund ARIA to accelerate the production of affordable active packaging and labeling products.
Inuru will use the fund to setup an automated production line to increase production capacities of its active packaging products, that are capable of lighting up, warning and displaying small animation and even video in future.
Inuru’s products fill the need of brands in the field of Fast-Moving-Consumer-Goods for a personalized brand experience and a better shelf visibility in retail and at home as the direct-to-consumer (D2C) market soars. Amongst Inuru’s customer are the most valuable brands worldwide.
“Coca-Cola had the pleasure to cooperate with Inuru twice. The first project was created just before Christmas 2018. We wanted to surprise our employees from Central and Eastern Europe with a nice gift using technologically modern packaging solutions. Together with Inuru, we have prepared the first ever Coca-Cola Christmas bottles with a glowing logo on the label, which went to employees for Christmas,” says Georgi Blaskov, Senior Brand Manager, Coca-Cola Bulgaria.
“The second project concerned a partnership with Disney – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This time we cooperated on a much larger scale, also this time Inuru did not disappoint us. The company is brave, flexible and quickly adapts its activities to the needs of new projects,” he adds. The latest product was a paper-thin label, that after being touched, revealed a glowing light saber.
Still luminous packaging is just the tip of the iceberg regarding both the technological potential and the strategy of the company. Inuru’s upcoming products will provide additional functionality, starting with animation on paper for marketing and supportive information like signaling that the product is approaching the best before date, actively helping to reduce food waste.
„Our goals is to bring moving pictures on paper - just like in Harry Potter. Video and changing content on demand, without having to throw away resources. Whether its packaging or paper or any other surface.“ says Marcin Ratajczak (Cofounder, CEO) about the vision that motivated him and his cofounder Patrick Barkowski (CTO) to start the work on Inuru eight years ago.
The goal is the integration of full body displays into packaging, allowing to change content in real time. „Marketers will be able to change the content on packaging on demand without the need to print or coordinate the whole supply chain“ adds Patrick Barkowski about future benefits of the technology.
Building on Proven Smart Surface Technology
The luminous label and packaging solutions by Inuru feature exceptional brightness, a seamless integration and recycle-ability. The underlying Smart Surface Technology is the culmination of 8 years of engineering in the heart of Germany’s biggest Science Park Berlin Adlershof, where Inuru is located.
The highly acclaimed illuminated labels are capable of illuminating any graphics of the label, whilst the light effect can be triggered by holding the product, customers walking by the shelf or music in the night clubs. All this functionalities are embedded in a thin piece of label, that is bendable and so scalable to billions on existing labelling machines.
„Unlike like other market players that buy LEDs cheaply and sell these as an innovation for huge money to brands in the West, we have been focused on proprietary Organic LED technology from the very beginning, to make sure the product is recyclable and able to display video content in the future.“ says Patrick Barkowski.
Inuru believes the underlying Smart Surface Technology has the potential to become a platform technology. The same film that is used to realize illuminated labels today, can be also integrated into surfaces of cars, planes, homes, clothes, wearables, medical devices, consumer electronics, etc. Each one is a multi billion USD market.
„We have invested in Inuru for several reasons. They are already operating on trillion dollar packaging market. They address very relevant needs of global brands such as of product visibility and brand identity, perfectly fits a megatrend of personalized user experience and at the same time they remains eco-friendly.”
“The fact that they can already integrate their OLED with basically any surface shows almost unlimited potential for applications in other multi-billion dollar markets. We are dealing with unique technology and a perfectly complementing team of founders. We feel extremely comfortable with this investment since our money will allow the company to serve an already mounting demand,” emphasizes Dariusz Lewandowski, CEO of ARIA.
ARIA is a Warsaw based investment fund, that focuses on deep tech startups in the CEE region. "We are happy to welcome ARIA amongst our shareholders and looking forward to a fruitful collaboration." concludes Marcin Ratajczak.
Congratulations to the Inuru-team!
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