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MantiSpectra lands €4M for chip-scale spectroscopy

26 Sep 2023

Eindhoven startup backed by Netherlands' PhotonDelta scheme to scale production of its miniaturized spectrometers.

MantiSpectra, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology that is developing tiny infrared spectrometers, has secured a €4 million round of funding.

Led by the Netherlands-headquartered venture firms Innovation Industries and PhotonVentures, the round also marked the latest injection of cash from the PhotonDelta National Growth Fund program.

MantiSpectra says that the investment will help drive its efforts towards global commercialization and widespread adoption of its “ChipSense” spectral sensing platform.

The firm’s technology, which is fabricated using indium phosphide (InP) wafers, provides infrared spectroscopy extending to a wavelength of 1700 nm, is intended to replace traditional benchtop-scale spectrometers, enabling compact, portable, and cost-effective material analysis virtually anywhere.

Potential major application areas include smart agriculture, enabling farmers to easily monitor produce during growth, harvesting, and storage, and to help sort different types of plastic materials for recycling (see video below).

‘Spectroscopy for the masses’
Founded in 2020 by CEO Maurangelo Petruzzella and CTO Francesco Pagliano following their integrated photonics research at Eindhoven, MantiSpectra describes its mission as “making spectral analysis possible for the masses”.

They say that the technology platform combines absorption spectroscopy with artificial intelligence to enable accurate, rapid material composition analysis directly where it is needed.

“MantiSpectra already has customers and partners actively using their spectral platform in more than twenty countries, including Fortune 500 companies and three of the world’s top-ten food and beverage companies,” added the firm in its release announcing the latest funding.

It has been recognized with multiple awards, including the International Industrial Hermes Startup Award at Hannover Messe, the Rabobank Sustainable Innovation Award, and the recent Gerard & Anton Award.

The new €4 million investment is described as a significant milestone, with the funding used to scale the InP platform and support existing customers toward mass production.

“With the new capital infusion, MantiSpectra aims to accelerate the scale-up of the fabrication phase, increase its production capacity to support high-volume application cases, and develop database libraries for turn-key solutions,” added the company.

Financial Times video featuring MantiSpectra:

Vincent Kamphorst, investment director at investor Innovation Industries, said in the same release: “MantiSpectra’s unique miniaturized photonics solution can enable mass market adoption of spectroscopy towards consumer-level scale.

“This can make a huge positive impact, with applications in healthy living and reduction of food waste, to name just a few. We’re looking forward to supporting the team in further commercializing and scaling the business.”

Pieter Klinkert, a partner at PhotonVentures, added: “MantiSpectra is a great example of unique applications making use of integrated photonics. It underlines the difference and impact that integrated photonics in leading sensing applications.

“We have been working together with MantiSpectra’s team since 2020 and they are as stellar as their technology. We applaud their ambition and are proud we are able to continue supporting them towards their future success.”

Other startups to benefit from the PhotonDelta funding scheme recently include Astrape Networks, which is developing PIC-based data centers, the InP chip foundry Smart Photonics, and lidar-focused Zeiss spin-out Scantinel Photonics.

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