14 April 2021
Vector’s £1.6m equity investment takes seed funding round to £4m
Vector Photonics Ltd (which was spun off from Scotland’s University of Glasgow in March 2020, based on research led by professor Richard Hogg) has received £1.6m of equity investment from a consortium of three specialist funding companies: Foresight, the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) and Equity Gap.
This takes the start-up’s seed funding round to more than £4m, including £2.4m from three grants that came through UK Government agency Innovate UK: ‘LOCAL’ (‘Lasers for Communications Applications’, optimizing PCSEL technology for datacoms applications); ‘Bloodline’ (for 3D metal printing); and ‘Facilitator’ (for 3D plastic printing). Vector’s CEO Neil Martin describes the seed funding as “a fantastic achievement for a one-year-old, Covid-era University of Glasgow start-up”.
The funding will be used to commercialize Vector’s unique PCSEL-based semiconductor laser technology. PCSELs (photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers) are claimed to have benefits over existing laser technology in data communications; additive manufacturing, including metal and plastic printing; light detection & ranging (LiDAR); and optical sensing (some of the fastest-growing technology markets in the world).
“Each investment company adds its own unique value to our business and will have board representation,” comments Martin. “Foresight invests in high-growth-potential companies with innovative and transformational technologies via the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund and Foresight Williams, a joint venture with Williams Advanced Engineering. UKI2S is a specialist deep-tech seed fund focused on spin outs from the UK’s research base. Equity Gap is an angel investment syndicate, investing early in new technology businesses throughout Scotland.”