12 March 2020
Rockley Photonics gains investment from Ahren Innovation Capital
Rockley Photonics of Pasadena, CA, USA (formed in 2013 to develop a versatile, application-specific silicon photonics platform for optical integration in next-generation sensor systems and communications networks) has gained an investor in the form of Ahren Innovation Capital of Cambridge, UK, an investment fund that focuses on transformational companies at the intersection of deep tech and deep science that will penetrate, or create, massive markets. Its four broad fields of activity include the brain and artificial intelligence (AI); genetics and platform technologies; space and robotics; and efficient energy.
Rockley says that its silicon photonics platform enables fundamental advances to be made across multiple mega-trend markets. The technology has potential in sensor applications, where low-cost integrated optics solutions are sought for areas such as in machine vision and environmental sensing. Its technology also boosts performance in high-density communications applications, such as data-center computer connectivity, 5G infrastructure and AI cluster computing environments, where using photonics eliminates the performance constraints of traditional electrical connections.
“Rockley’s platform aligns closely with our interests and spans very well across the application space of our target markets, especially as an enabling technology in new AI and healthcare opportunities,” says Ahren’s founding & managing partner Alice Newcombe-Ellis. “By starting with a clean sheet and designing a bespoke fabrication process, Rockley has created a highly versatile platform solution. Importantly, the technology can be manufactured cheaply and at scale for high-volume markets,” she comments.
“Ahren’s partners have exceptional credibility and their support for Rockley further validates our technology, strategy and our experienced team,” says Rockley’s founder & CEO Andrew Rickman. “Silicon photonics enables novel solutions that unlock extraordinary application capabilities. Our unique manufacturing processes, expertise and solutions put us several years ahead of the competition,” he believes.