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PhotonVentures fund rises to €75M

17 Apr 2024

Dutch venture capital group adds €15M to existing pot; targets €100M by end of 2024.

PhotonVentures, the Netherlands-based venture capital fund aimed at “deep tech” developments in integrated photonics, says it has added €15 million in its second round of fundraising.

It brings the total raised so far to €75 million, following the initial tranche of €60 million that was led by the “PhotonDelta” ecosystem, backed by the Dutch government’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

“Moving forward, our objective is to raise over €100 million for the closure of our initial fund by the end of 2024,” PhotonVentures announced, adding that the fund is focused on early-stage investments, with participation typically ranging from €1 million to €2.5 million.

Essential applications
When the initial fund of €60 million was announced last August, PhotonVentures said it was targeting a total fundraising of between €100 million and €150 million by the start of 2024.

The latest top-up in funding came from a combination of private and “strategic” investors, including public bodies in the form of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), Oost NL (the East Netherlands Development Agency), TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), and the University of Twente.

“The enthusiasm in the market for participating in this round underscores the confidence in PhotonVentures’ mission to support growth and capitalize on the rapidly developing integrated photonics semiconductor industry,” said PhotonVentures.

“The fund targets essential applications in data transmission, health diagnostics, and smart sensor systems, while also aligning with major global trends such as AI, AR, and VR.”

Spectrometers to AR glasses
Ewit Roos, PhotonVentures general partner, commented: “We are proud that BOM, Oost NL, TNO and University Twente came on board. It proves their belief that PhotonVentures is creating value for investors and sustainable economic impact for the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.”

Marc Jansen, BOM’s managing director of investments, added: “The further development of photonics is crucial for the future of the Dutch semiconductor ecosystem. It’s no coincidence that photonics is one of the key technologies for BOM.”

While Freek Welling, director of capital at Oost NL, noted: “Photonics is an important enabling technology. Many Dutch photonics companies are located around the universities in Eindhoven and Enschede. But also, the Noviotech Campus in Nijmegen is an important driver for innovations in photonics.

“PhotonVentures has previously invested in companies from our region such as Surfix and PHIX. We are pleased to have joined with other parties because we see the importance of the growth of photonics in our region, the Netherlands and Europe.”

Other firms backed by the fund so far include Eindhoven-based MantiSpectra, which is developing miniaturized spectrometers based on indium phosphide (InP) photonic chips, and Enschede-located Brilliance, whose tiny laser modules are aimed at augmented reality (AR) glasses.

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