Lenovo invests in trackpad startup Sensel – Vidak For Congress

Sensel’s journey was interesting to watch from a distance. The company came across our radar a few years ago thanks to its Morph device, a colorful and clever piece of hardware that uses various silicone skins to turn a trackpad into various input devices. In the end, however, the startup learned the same lesson as countless others: consumer hardware is immensely difficult.

Ultimately, the company turned to selling the underlying technology to OEMs. Turns out the Morph was a pretty good proof-of-concept for its underlying multitouch, haptic trackpad. It also appears that a number of laptop manufacturers are only too happy to license it.

Today Sensel announced a $18.8 million Series B. Led by Global Lighting Technologies Inc. The round follows a Series A of $28 million, bringing the Bay Area-based company’s funding to $57 million since its founding in 2013. Lenovo, in particular, also spearheaded this round. The company has been one of Sensel’s largest hardware partners to date.

“Sensel’s goal of shipping large yet cost-effective haptic touchpads will be realized with our strategic module partner, GLT,” the company’s chief product and strategy officer, Harsha Rao, said in a release. “With any advanced technology, rapid production scaling is the holy grail. This partnership is critical for Sensel’s next phase as it provides our innovative solutions with advanced automation, scalability and manufacturability.”

The company says the funding will go toward further scaling its technology and R&D for future products.

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