ZBD gets GBP2.5 million in third round

Investee company

ZBD Displays Ltd

Investee company business type

Develops liquid crystal displays

Type of financing


Equity providers

Prelude Trust, QinetiQ Ventures, The Dow Chemical Company and TTP Ventures

Equity leader (individual)

Dr Robert Hook, Prelude Trust

Debt provider


Debt type


Debt leader (individual)


Equity amount

£2.5 million

Total deal value

£2.5 million

Other advisors



ZBD Displays, a producer of novel bi-stable liquid-crystal displays, has received a third round of financing. The £2.5 million funding round has been led by Prelude Trust plc, which has invested £910,000. Existing investors QinetiQ Ventures, TTP Ventures and The Dow Chemical Company also participated.

ZBD Displays is based in Malvern, UK. The company develops bi-stable Liquid-Crystal Displays (LCD) which offer very low power coupled with improved optical performance for use in devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, electronic books, smart cards or labels.

ZBD was spun-out from the QinetiQ, formally known as the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in August 2000. Prelude, TTP and Dow initially backed the venture with seed capital of $1.5 million, with a follow-on investment of £2 million in October 2001. ZBD’s team includes the inventors of revolutionary next-generation Liquid Crystal Display technology, Zenithal Bistable Devise. QinetiQ assigned the Intellectual Property portfolio for this technology to ZBD.

During the last year, ZBD has developed its technology to be suitable for plastic. This reduces weight and increases robustness while for designers, plastic offers the flexibility of conformal displays for next generation palm and mobile devices. ZBD is also developing colour reflective displays.

Dr Robert Hook, managing director of Prelude, commented: “Prelude has been instrumental in helping foster ZBD since it was spun out of QinetiQ two years ago and speaking on behalf of all the investors, we are delighted with the progress the team has made, particularly in terms of manufacturability, a crucial requirement in the display industry.