Haptic touchpad maker Sensel receives $18.8 million in funding led by GLT and Lenovo

Sensel Haptic Trackpad
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Haptic touchpad maker Sensel has raised $18.8 million in funding.
  • Lenovo is the latest investor in the company, joining Global Lighting Technologies.
  • The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga 5G was the first laptop to ship with a Sensel haptic touchpad.
  • The funding will help Sensel scale its production of haptic touchpads for personal computing devices.

Sensel, a company that specializes in haptic touchpads, has raised $18.8 million in funding, which will be used to scale up its manufacturing. In total, Sensel has raised over $57 million since it was founded in 2013.

Global Lighting Technologies is a strategic manufacturing partner of Sensel, and it led the latest wave of fundraising. It was joined by Lenovo, who was already a customer of Sensel's but is now also an investor.

“Sensel’s goal of shipping high volume yet cost-effective haptic touchpads will be realized with our strategic module partner, GLT,” said Harsha Rao, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Sensel. “With any cutting-edge technology, rapidly scaling manufacturing is the holy grail. This partnership is critical to Sensel’s next phase, as it brings sophisticated automation, scale, and manufacturability to our innovative solutions.”

Sensel is a unique player in the touchpad space because it tightly integrates all three core components of a haptic trackpad, touch, force, and haptics. This paves the way for thinner laptops and comes with a range of other advantages.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Titanium Yoga

(Image credit: Future)

The first laptop to ship with a Sensel touchpad was the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga 5G. Lenovo was presumably happy with the touchpad since the company has joined Global Lighting Technologies as an investor of Sensel.

"Coming off the success of the touchpad experience in the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, we are delighted to become investors in Sensel as part of their Series B raise,” said Vice President of Commercial Product Solutions Development, Intelligent Devices Group of Lenovo Luis Hernandez. “This strategic investment will help accelerate our co-development of best-in class haptic touchpads, enhancing the user experience across a wide range of Lenovo’s laptop portfolio in 2022 and beyond.”

After Sensel completed its Series A fundraising in 2020, the company shipped its touchpad in the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. Now, the company aims to expand by scaling up its manufacturing.

Our executive editor Daniel Rubino spoke with Dean Chang, Sensel's Director of Product Management, about the company's haptic touchpads.

Sean Endicott
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.