Netherlands-based PhotonFirst, a provider of integrated photonics sensing solutions for sophisticated applications, announced that it has raised €11M in its Series A round of funding.
The deeptech company also announced its plans for an IPO in 2025 based on its 15-year heritage in integrated photonics.
Investors in this round
The funding came from PhotonFirst’s largest shareholder, Amsterdam-based private equity firm Active Capital Company, and new investor PhotonDelta. Both have jointly committed to fund the 5-year business plan of the company.
Victor Schols, partner of Active Capital Company, says, “We believe in the vision and strategy of PhotonFirst and see great potential in scaling the technology. The Board has demonstrated their execution power and is on track to deliver on the plan, we are confident our funding allows them to accelerate and expand.”
PhotonFirst’s board members Ilko Bosman (CFO) and Daan Kersten (CEO) have also co-invested, and the entire PhotonFirst team will participate through a phantom stock program.
CEO of PhotonDelta, Ewit Roos, says, “PhotonFirst is a global frontrunner in integrated photonics sensing solutions. This company represents perfectly what the PhotonDelta ecosystem is all about: inventing, developing and manufacturing world class products that make a difference. We are proud to invest in this team and become part of their success.”
The proceeds from this round will help PhotonFirst develop its next generation technology and product and also in expansion of its commercial footprint globally.
CEO of PhotonFirst Daan Kersten says, “We are grateful and proud that both Active Capital Company and PhotonDelta have confirmed our ambitious 5-year plan and team-up with us to successfully execute on it.”
“As proven solid partners, we have the backing that will allow us to focus on accelerating our commercial efforts while continuing to build on our technology,” added Ilko Bosman, CFO of PhotonFirst.
Founded in 1996, PhotonFirst (formerly Technobis) develops and manufactures photonics sensing technologies to measure temperature, strain, pressure, shape, and acceleration in objects ranging from buildings to airplanes to medical devices. Its aim is to be the global innovation leader in integrated photonics sensing and being the OEM’s partner of choice for advanced applications.
The firm will support its clients by developing new or improved (better, faster, cheaper, more efficient) photonics sensing solutions for advanced applications; provide industrialising, producing, scaling, certifying, supplying and servicing integrated photonics sensing solutions; and ensuring new technology development through research and innovation agenda and partnering with leading institutes.
Most of the company’s clients are located abroad, with Asia and North America being the biggest growth markets. However, according to Daan Kersten, the biggest bottleneck to growth is the fact that photonics is still a relatively unknown field for many business leaders. That is why he wants to use the next few years to actively identify the best possible applications together with their clients.
And to achieve that, PhotonFirst is growing the team and is looking for technical salespeople who can help shape their international expansion.
Earlier this year, in March 2021, the company also opened a satellite office at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the hotspot of the photonics industry in The Netherlands.