The Venture: Royole
“Royole is a global start-up company focusing on R&D of novel information display technologies, especially the research, design, development and manufacturing of the flexible displays and related electronic devices. Royole Corporation operates in three major high-tech regions globally: Silicon Valley in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Shenzhen, China, since starting in the middle of 2012.”
“…Royole Corporation has already accumulated hundreds of intellectual property rights including know-hows in technologies covering virtually all the aspects of display manufacturing such as materials, processing, devices, circuits, electronic system design, etc., which they have utilized in their recent breakthrough. With the world’s thinnest bendable and rollable full-color AMOLED flexible display for smartphones as pioneered by Royole Corporation…with a thickness of 0.01mm (0.00039 inches, approximately 1/5 the thickness of a human hair), with the ability to display high-quality videos with brilliant and vivid colors at a rolling radius of 1mm… Flexible AMOLED display has been widely considered by the display industry as the next generation of information display technology, replacing CRT and LCD, and which has the potential to be applied in numerous areas such as novel smart phones, intelligent home systems, wearable electronic devices, etc.”
In addition to numerous advantages associated with its innovative design compared with the traditional flat panel displays, flexible display has been predicted to greatly improve user’s experience as well as largely reducing the cost of production with the application of novel processing technologies. Application of flexible AMOLED display in numerous areas including VR can create a productive enhancement to human interaction, connect students from around the world and enrich learning opportunities, regardless of social, economic or geographic disparities.
The founder: Bill Liu
Bill is a Stanford Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering and the founder of Royole Corporation. Before he founded Royole in 2012, he joined IBM’s global R & D center in New York as a consultant engineer level. In 2015, He was chosen as one of the top 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in China of the year by Forbes China-US.
Peng Wei was a postdoctoral scholar and is a co-founder of Royole.
Royole Corporation is led by a team of experienced technology experts and professionals from Stanford, Tsinghua, several other top research institutes and Fortune Global 500 high-tech companies. Royole has also teamed up with Akon, a R&B singer, songwriter, businessman, record producer, actor, who is now their creative director.
In an interview, Bill stressed that the Royole’s most valuable asset is manpower, teamwork.
The company is backed by several of the world’s premier VC firms and angel investors since 2012.
Experienced global companies including IDG Capital Partners, Shenzhen capital Group Co. LTD, Jack & Fischer Investment, Citic Capital, Green Pine Capital Partners, Resources Investment, Fuho Capital, Capital Advisors, Costone, Alpha Wealth and Qianhai Fof are all Royole Corp’s investors.
IDTechEx, a global market research company, has predicted that the global printed and flexible electronics market will reach $330 billion by the year 2027. Flexible display will become the major market segment. Their recent report suggested that it will continue to show an explosive growth within the next decade.
Overall, I see a lot of potential in Royole for a number of reasons: big market potential, innovativeness and high industry entry, leadership, talent and teamwork.
The company has over 500 employees with mostly young professionals. For the general direction of development and team building, the founder of Royole, Bill, takes every detail seriously at every stage. Like big companies such as Google, Royole has a hiring rate of 5% after candidates’ on site visit. But unlike some big companies, the founder himself interviewed and hired every one of the first 100 employees. In order to select the best team players for the company, he said that it’s essential to find team players who shared the same value with the company; integrity, creativity and responsibility were the three major qualities that he looked for in his prospective colleagues. Based on what he said, I found a telling alignment between his emphasis on teamwork and the company’s marketing strategy. For instance, if we look up Royole, we can find little information or videos about Bill himself. Instead of promoting the founder himself as an icon for Royole, Bill Liu chose to shift the focus onto shared value and teamwork. I think this marketing strategy is highly effective and becoming more commonly used in today’s world, especially with start-up companies.