The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Masatoshi Ueno, Asahi Glass
For more than 100 years, AGC Asahi Glass, a Japan-based producer of glass, advanced materials and chemicals, has pioneered some of the most important breakthroughs in glass and coatings.
It was perhaps no surprise, therefore, to see Masatoshi Ueno, senior manager at Asahi Glass, lead the $65m series C round for Kinestral Technology.
Founded in 2011, Kinestral has created a responsive form of smart-tinting glass called Halio that tints in sunlight to provide shade for a building’s inhabitants, and which can also tint to a range of darker greys to complement the building’s design. In total, Kinestral has raised about $117.5m of equity in series A to C rounds and a further $12m in non-dilutive partner funding.
AGC formed a strategic partnership with Kinestral in June 2016 to facilitate joint marketing and sales of Halio. The C round will support the commercial introduction of Halio in North America this year, and internationally in 2018.
Ueno said: “This year we will work hard to set up manufacturing sites and pre-marketing.”
He added: “Other than the Kinestral project, we will work with other startups in augmented reality and connected and intelligent windows. In augmented reality, it is likely our product enables head-mounted displays. In intelligent windows, we will work with a startup that has unique data aggregation technology and cloud service.”
He also noted for GCV’s annual survey that autonomous vehicles were the most important area of development last year, and based in San Francisco, California, he has been at the epicentre of exciting developments for more than a decade.
Before joining Asahi Glass in October 2011, he was CEO of Yasuda Enterprise Development America for six years and part of a VC firm established in the 1970s since 2000, where his deals included innovative technology such as Plastic Logic.
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