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Effect Photonics closes Series-A funding

24 Feb 2015

Dutch DWDM photonic integration company to invest undisclosed sum in production facilities and staff.

Effect Photonics, Eindhoven, Netherlands, has has closed its Series-A funding, to support taking its optical system-on-chip technology to market. The first close of the investment round was led by investment company B-to-V Partners, and included the Brabant Development Agency (BOM) and management company Optidob.

Effect Photonics develops integrated optical components based on indium phosphide, which is suited to the integration of efficient laser sources, waveguides, modulators, amplifiers, and photodiodes for optical communication systems. The company says its design allows port density to be increased sixfold over existing approaches – while operational expenses are reduced by 40%.

James Regan, CEO, commented, “The investment total is not being released. We will be spending the money on expanding our team and facilities, and on product development. We are now working closely with customers on product development cycles. Our customers are identifying huge volumes in the mobile, access and inter-datacenter markets. For example, in November 2014, Lightcounting published a market value forecast for transceivers for fronthaul, saying this sector could reaching $900 million in annual sales by 2018.

“Increasing consumer demand for mobile video is driving a wave of data through cell towers and between datacenters that is expected to rise ten times over the next four years, creating a capacity crunch that only DWDM can solve. With our DWDM system-on-chip and advanced packaging technologies we enable the cost structure network providers need in a competitive market environment.”

Track record

A spin-out from the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), Effect Photonics won the Invest in Photonics Best Company award (and €5000), as reported by optics.org. The company is managed by a team of integration technology innovators and experienced photonics industry veterans with backgrounds in Bookham (now Oclaro), Nortel Components, JDSU and Agility.

Regan added, ”There is limited availability of early-stage funding for photonics hardware these days. We have been successful in closing our investment due to the exceptional strength of our technology and team, as can been seen in our winning the Invest In Photonics award.”

Dr. Christian Reitberger, joining the board of the company on behalf of B-To-V Partners, commented, “We are excited to work with the Effect Photonics team to deliver on the vision of highly cost-effective photonic integration, combining the intellectual capital of Eindhoven and the South West UK know-how clusters. The photonic manufacturing ecosystem has evolved to make capital-light photonic hardware companies a reality.”

Miriam Dragstra, Managing Director of BOM Capital said, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support Effect Photonics as a high-potential photonics start-up in our region, which has established itself as world-leading in integrated photonics. Our investment will contribute to increasing that critical mass and its spin-off to the community further.”

UK operation planned

Asked about the possibility of launching a UK–based operation, in the light of the recent EPIC announcement, Brixham, Devon-based Regan added, “Effect Photonics is locating a facility in Torbay, with strong support from the local council, to access the experienced workforce there and this funding is part of that. We are highly active in the cluster of photonics startups there and working closely with Torbay council around the planned EPIC facility.”

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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