Amsterdam-based Aito, a haptic touch specialist, announced on Thursday that it has raised a further €1M funding from Dutch banking giant Rabobank. The additional investment follows the company’s €4.1M funding raised in October, 2021.
Robbert Lut of Rabobank says, “Aito’s ground-breaking and patented technology offers new design options to create more compact and versatile laptops, accessories, displays and other devices delivering new tactile experiences. This investment demonstrates our confidence in the company’s current product portfolio and ambitious further growth plans.”
Delivering new touch experiences across multiple applications
Founded in 2012 by Jockum Lönnberg, Pauli Laitinen and Rene Vries, and currently led by CEO Nedko Ivanov, Aito claims to be a frontrunner in the global human interface market.
The company’s Haptile modules add force sensing and haptic feedback to an extensive range of devices, including laptops, keyboards, computing mice, smartphones, and car infotainment systems.
Aito’s technology is developed by a team of engineers based in Espoo, Finland. The company claims that its technology can be scaled to offer the largest edge-to-edge touchpads in the industry as well as provide consumer technology companies with new design options to create compact and versatile laptops, accessories, displays, and other devices.
CEO Nedko Ivanov says, “With more than 85 patents, we have built a significant portfolio of intellectual property across all the key aspects of the technology to enable integrated finger sensing and haptic feedback experiences, including sensing and control, signal processing and mechanical construction.”
“An increasing number of technology companies are deploying our integrated solution to create intuitive touch experiences housed in elegant new designs. This investment will further accelerate our growth in a dynamic, ever-evolving potential market,” adds Ivanov.
Aito says that the additional funding will help them accelerate growth and extend its finger sensing and haptic feedback solution to more tier-one consumer technology brands.
Ivanov says, “Following a strong start to 2022, Rabobank has provided investment to help support our ambitious plans to further commercialise our patented technology with other ‘world-leading’ consumer technology brands.”
In December 2021, Aito appointed Jan Jaap Koelewijn as its Chief Financial Officer.
Jan Jaap is a seasoned CFO who started his career at KPMG, where he worked as Audit Manager for 15 years conducting worldwide audits of large corporations including PolyGram and Azko Nobel. Jan Jaap was then appointed CFO at an industrial production company, NN Netherlands, where he managed numerous financial and legal projects, including the company’s post-acquisition integration.
In 2013, he joined startup e-Traction Europe as CFO to head up the company’s finances up to its acquisition by Evergrande Health Industry Group.
Speaking on the development, Jan Jaap says, “I enjoy contributing to projects that are built from the bottom up, and so I was intrigued by Aito as an innovative startup with ambitious goals. The haptic touch industry is booming, set to be worth more than $25B in the next five years. As CFO, contributing to a company’s financial success in such a huge market appeals to me and I have the expertise to achieve this at Aito.”
In November, 2021, the company had appointed Jukka Mannerkoski as its VP of Operations and Sourcing. At Aito, Jukka leads the sourcing, operations and production quality of the company’s finger sensing and haptic touch technology. Previously, Jukka worked for Nokia, where he headed chipset sourcing for the mobile phone company in the run-up to its acquisition by Microsoft in 2013. He then made the transition to Microsoft, ultimately holding the position of Head of Phones Sourcing and Cost Management.