Eindhoven-based SMART Photonics, a company that focuses on a foundry for photonic integrated circuits, announced on Wednesday that it has secured an additional €100M in funding.
Key strategic players from the semiconductor industry, including ASML, NXP, and VDL Groep, participated in the funding round.
Financial institutions such as ING, BOP Impact Ventures, and the Deep Tech Fund, affiliated with Invest-NL and partly financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, joined as investors in this funding round.
Previous investors, including Innovation Industries, BOM, PhotonDelta, and KPN Ventures, have joined this funding round again.
The Netherlands government will provide €60M in public funding as part of the approved National Growth Fund project PhotonDelta as previously announced.
The Dutch company will deploy the funds to strengthen its role as the leading manufacturer of next-generation chips in the European photonic value chain.
Further, SMART Photonics will use the funds to extend its manufacturing capabilities and accelerate the development of its photonic integrated chip technology platforms and its Process Design Kits (PDKs).
Previously, SMART Photonics received a new loan worth up to €13M from Rabobank to scale up production of photonics chips and strengthen its role in the growing photonics ecosystem.
“We are very pleased to be supported by this new group of lenders and are grateful for the continued support of our existing investors,” comments Johan Feenstra, Chief Executive Officer of SMART Photonics.
“With this round of funding, we receive strong support from the Dutch ecosystem, including strategic lenders and financial institutions in our ambition to become the globally leading foundry for Photonic Integrated Chips (PICs),” adds Feenstra.
SMART Photonics: Creating the next generation chips
Founded in 2012, SMART Photonics focuses on offering foundry production services predominantly for Indium Phosphide-based photonic components.
The Dutch company claims to be an independent foundry – producing high-end Photonic Integrated Circuits for customers.
The company offers a complete production process from epitaxial growth and re-growth, processing, polishing, and dicing of wafers into chips. In addition, the company also helps its clients support from the proof of concept phase up to and including full production.
SMART Photonics offers solutions for data and telecommunication, sensing and medical applications.
What do the investors have to say?
ASML, NXP, and VDL Groep jointly states, “Financial support from the three fellow-Brainport region companies gives SMART Photonics the best opportunity to take the essential next steps to further mature the organisation, strengthen technical capabilities and extend their manufacturing base. Our additional funding will help strengthen the Brainport and the wider Dutch and European Photonics ecosystem. SMART Photonics becoming a strong and versatile foundry can greatly benefit the growing number of fabless photonic chip design companies in the Brainport region.”
Demissionary Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy states, “We believe in the Netherlands as a leading international hub for the development of the fast-growing integrated photonics industry. That’s why we invest both through the National Growth Fund project PhotonDelta in the whole ecosystem and our dedicated Deep Tech Fund with specific funding for start-ups and scale-ups that focus on innovative complex technology such as SMART Photonics. For the prosperity and economic growth of the future and to maintain our competitiveness, it is necessary that we develop innovative key technologies like integrated photonics within the European Union.”