UK company Peratech, which makes interface sensors, has raised $12.4 million led by Merck Ventures, the VC arm of pharmaceutical firm Merck with participation from Arie Capital.

Peratech’s develops a 3D force sensing solution called Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) for human-machine interfaces (HMI) that reduces accidental and false touches. The new funding will enable the North Yorkshire company to accelerate its product roadmap for more applications, said CEO Jon Stark.

“This investment also gives us the bandwidth not only to commercialise current solutions, but to complete development of transparent and higher-resolution sensor technologies with new deposition modalities for a wider range of next-generation human-machine experiences,” he added.

Sven Harmsen, investment director of Merck Venutures, said it was interested in materials innovations, which led to this investment.

“The timing is right as leading OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] in these markets are starting to deploy innovative HMIs utilising force and 3D touch,” said Harmsen. “Peratech’s technology is ready for commercial use and it can further scale its product engineering and manufacturing.”

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