Smile invest co-leads series-C round of Effect Photonics
Smile Invest co-leads the Series-C round of Eindhoven-based photonics company EFFECT Photonics alongside Innovation Industries Fund and other existing investors. The first close of this round amounts to 31 million euros and could increase to EUR 36 million at a later stage. The investment will be used to scale up production capacity and to further expand the current product line of optical transceivers for a.o. 5G networks. The development activities for the next generation of optical chips, with capacities of more than 400 gigabits per second, will also be further expanded.
EFFECT Photonics is a spin-off of Eindhoven University of Technology and is a world leading developer of optical transceivers. Its innovative technology brings core network performance to the network edge, through integration of all the optical functions on to a single Photonic Integrated Circuit combined with low cost, non-hermetic packaging.
EFFECT Photonics’ products enable network builders to increase the capacity of existing fiber optic networks without having to put additional cables into the ground. The demand for Internet bandwidth by end-users is increasing rapidly every year. The rollout of 5G connections and the growth of home working due to the corona virus have accelerated this trend. Upgrading transceivers is a cost-effective solution to increase capacity.
Boudewijn Docter, one of the founders and President of the company and James Regan, CEO, see the investment as the beginning of a new phase for EFFECT Photonics: “After years of technology and product development we are now making the transition to a real production company. Our first products have now passed thousands of hours of reliability tests and are being installed all over the world. Our task now is to meet the enormous customer demand and further increase production capacity and efficiency. The knowledge and networks of the Smile Invest team and our existing investors will certainly come in handy here.”
Bart Cauberghe, Managing Partner at Smile Invest commented: “We see in EFFECT Photonics a company with unique technology and a team that has shown that they can convert this into innovative products for a fast-growing market. The company fits perfectly in the activities of Smile Invest, given our focus on innovative growth companies that have the potential to become market leader in their segment. We are delighted to join a strong group of existing investors and look forward to supporting the team as they ramp up production.”
Ad Notenboom, Partner at Smile Invest, emphasizes the great potential of the technology. “The photonics platform that EFFECT Photonics has developed is not only capable of making current fiber optic connections more efficient, but it is a real platform technology that can be used to launch new products at a rapid pace. Like other chip technologies, integrated photonics is highly scalable and will enable ground-breaking products in the future, even beyond the telecom industry.”
About Smile Invest
Smile Invest (Smart Money for Innovation Leaders) is a European evergreen investment firm with €350 million assets under management, financed by 40 entrepreneurial families and with a long term focus on innovative growth companies. Smile Invest focuses on companies active in technology, healthcare and innovative consumer markets. From its offices in Leuven and The Hague the team supports ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams in realising their growth plans.