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Zink turns ink crystals into cash with a new $35M round of funding

Zink‘s cool inkless-printer technology breathes air into a product that has caused many consumers pain with the constant changing, recycling and buying of expensive ink cartridges. Today, Zink announced a $35 million second round of funding, led by Genii Capital. How do you celebrate $35 million? For Zink it’s hire two chief executive officers to co-run your company.

Zink, which is short for zero ink, creates printers that don’t need ink cartridges to print out photos or documents. Instead, a Zink printer uses paper embedded with crystals, which house yellow, magenta and cyan ink. The printer acts more as a heater, precisely heating the paper until the ink crystals come together to form the image.

Polaroid, the famous instant photo company, uses Zink’s printers in many of its cameras. Zink actually spun out of the company in 2005 to create its printers. It is no wonder then that the copmany takes it’s two chief executives from Polaroid. Mary Jeffries is Zink’s new chairman and co-chief exectuive, was a principal at Acuity Strategic Consulting before accepting her role at Zink. But prior to that, she served as CEO of Polaroid itself. She also held roles at a venture capital firm and a public relations firm.

She shares the position with Ira Parker, former executive vice president of corporate and business development, and general counsel at AOL. He is also the new President of Zink. Parker is another Polaroid alumni, however, having served three other executive roles at the photo company.

We last heard from Zink in 2009 when the company released its second generation printing engine. The new technology allowed the printer to make bigger printouts than the then standard 2 by 3 inch paper size, and scaled all the way up to 4 x 6 prints. Other than Polaroid, Zinks technology can also be found in Pandigital’s portable Zink printer, the TOMY xiao TIP-521 digital camera, which will print photos on the spot, and the Printrex C81 by Trans-Act. Dell is also a partner.

Zink launched at the DEMO conference in 2007 and took its first round in the same year from Petters Group Worldwide. The company is headquartered in Massachusetts, with a production facility in Whitsett, North Carolina.

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