US display manufacturer Candescent Technologies is on the way to being the biggest failure of a pure venture capital funded company.
The firm, which raised over $600m and received financial backing from Hewlett Packard, Sony and other industry heavyweights, may prove to be the biggest company to collapse before even making it to a public offering.
Founded to develop the world's first thin cathode ray tube, Candescent has yet to deliver a product beyond the prototype stage. It has now laid off over half of its roughly 100-strong workforce.
The company had filed to go public in February but withdrew in May, blaming the economic downturn. It says it no longer plans to make products and hopes instead to license its technology to other manufacturers.
At its peak in 1998, the firm employed 400 people and began construction on its new advanced flat-panel display manufacturing facility to be located in San Jose.
Sony, Candescent's biggest investor, which had put in about $170m, said it would not renew its joint development agreement when it expires at the end of this month.
The agreement was to develop high-voltage field emission display technology for next-generation flat panel monitors.
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