Press Release: ALCAN, a German Smart Antenna Start-up, Raises EUR 7.5 million to Manufacture Flat Panel Phased Array Antennas

A consortium of leading global corporations has invested in ALCAN’s market-leading smart antenna technology to support the roll-out of the company’s first flat panel phased array antennas.

ALCAN Systems GmbH, a smart antenna company, announced that it has raised EUR 7.5 million in Series A funding to bring its next-generation low-cost, ultra-thin flat smart antennas to market.

The funding round was led by SPC, SES and Merck.  As part of the round, representatives of SPC and SES will join the Supervisory Board of ALCAN.

ALCAN’s flat smart antennas are electronically steerable, and can be easily mounted on moving vehicles such as airplanes, ships, trains, trucks, buses, caravans and self-driving cars. They can also be mounted as ground fixed antennas to support the roll out of mobile backhaul and enterprise networks. The antennas are designed to be compatible with existing geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) and upcoming low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The antennas will also be compatible with future 5G technology.

ALCAN’s smart antenna design is based on a revolutionary new technology for liquid crystal (LC) – enabled phased array antennas, which provides state-of-the art performance at low power and low cost. The antennas’ beam-steering feature is implemented by using a semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) control unit to activate a specially designed LC layer inside a phased array antenna structure.

“We live in a connected world today where we expect reliable and fast broadband access even when on the move. In addition, companies are also realising that satellite connectivity is enabling them to optimise their operations more efficiently,” said Dr. Onur Karabey, CEO at ALCAN. “At ALCAN, we are excited to be rolling out our smart antennas in the coming months and are ideally positioned to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile and connected world. In particular, we believe our antennas will have the potential to become one of the key communications backbones for self-driving cars.”

About ALCAN Systems

ALCAN Systems is a German-based smart antenna technology start-up who has developed the revolutionary new liquid crystal (LC) enabled phased array technology. The technology is based on the work of ALCAN co-Founder and CEO Dr. Onur Karabey who proved the viability of LC based phased array antennas in 2011. The company also received seed funding of EUR 650,000 in 2014 from the EXIST Transfer of Research Program of German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to commercialise the research and accelerate the development of a working prototype.   ALCAN raised a further EUR 7.5 million Series A funding in 2017 from a consortium of leading global companies and is now focused on bringing its first product to market in 2018. For more information, please contact Esat Sibay, CFO at ALCAN Systems, E-mail:pr***@al**********.com

About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. In 2016, Merck generated sales of EUR 15.0 billion in 66 countries. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. Merck is the undisputed market and technology leader in liquid crystal (LC) materials worldwide.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

For more information, please contact Judith Rahner, Senior Communications Manager Display Materials, Phone: +49 6151 72 7694, E-mail:ju***********@me********.com and

About Merck Ventures

Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core business areas. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. Merck Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. Merck Ventures has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage Merck‘s science and technology base.

About SES

SES is the world-leading satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 12 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). SES focuses on value-added, end-to-end solutions in two key business units: SES Video and SES Networks. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. SES’s portfolio includes the ASTRA satellite system, which has the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) television reach in Europe, O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider, and MX1, a leading media service provider that offers a full suite of innovative digital video and media services. SES is listed on the Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange (ticker: SESG). Further information available at:

About SPC

Beijing Singularity Power Investment Fund L.P. (SPC) is a leading technology investment fund focused on display, human-computer interaction, IoT and other related integrated circuit design and applications.  Established in August 2015, it has got investable funds of RMB 4bn (USD 600m) assets under management. SPC invests across the life-cycle of companies, with focus on Pre-Rev VC investments, Pre-IPO / PIPE investments as well as large scale M&A.