AES Semigas


1 September 2023

PhotonVentures raises €60m to invest in Europe’s photonic chip start-ups

PhotonVentures has launched a venture capital fund aimed at early-stage photonic chip start-ups and scale-ups. €60m was raised in its first financing round, with Netherlands-based PhotonDelta as the lead investor (via the transfer of its portfolio to PhotonVentures) alongside numerous private investors. PhotonVentures plans to raise a total of €100–150m, with its final close set for the start of 2024.

PhotonVentures is an independent deep-tech venture capital firm that has been spun off from PhotonDelta, which was founded in 2014 as a growth accelerator for the integrated photonic chip industry in the Netherlands and Europe. PhotonDelta has since invested in photonics companies and R&D, establishing a cross-border ecosystem of organizations that research, design, develop and manufacture solutions with integrated photonic chip technology. Last year, PhotonDelta secured €1.1bn in public and private investment to scale up production, build 200 start-ups, create new applications for photonic chips and develop infrastructure and talent.

As strategic partners, PhotonVentures and PhotonDelta aim to support the rapid growth of Europe’s photonics industry. Leveraging the PhotonDelta integrated photonics ecosystem to accelerate European start-ups and scale-ups, PhotonVentures’ investment strategy will prioritize Series A rounds, providing investments of €1–2.5m each. The fund is planning to initially invest in 15 European deep-tech companies that have potential to grow internationally in their sectors. The start-ups should have an integrated photonics-based MVP (minimum viable product) connected to the European ecosystem.

The PhotonVentures board consists of Joachim de Sterke, Pieter Klinkert and Rijkman Groenink. de Sterke has a financial, legal and technical background with long-term investment experience. As co-founder & chief financial officer of PhotonDelta he was responsible for the entire investment process and guidance of the young companies in the ecosystem. Klinkert joined PhotonDelta in 2021. He was previously investment manager at OostNL and held positions in financing and corporate investment at various banks. Groenink is a former banker with experience in the financial sector.

“There are hundreds of incredibly promising start-ups and scale-ups driving development and application of photonic chips that need investment and support to take the next step on their journey. PhotonVentures fulfils this need; it is the only fund geared directly towards photonic chip start-ups and scale-ups,” comments de Sterke. “Our aim is to play an instrumental role in making Europe a global leader in integrated photonics. We will continue to expand our fund to enable us to invest in scores of start-ups over the next few years,” he adds.

“The integrated photonics industry is growing quickly but is short of investors with the knowledge and funding to back the sector’s ambitions,” notes René Penning de Vries, chairman of PhotonDelta’s supervisory board. “This is why creating the specialized fund PhotonVentures marks a significant milestone for the photonics industry,” he adds. “By transferring its existing portfolio, PhotonDelta was able to leverage its assets to attract more funds and kickstart the creation of PhotonVentures.”

See related items:

PhotonDelta gains €1.1bn funding, including €470m from Netherlands’ National Growth Fund

PhotonDelta, TNO, Eindhoven and Twente collaborating on Photonic Integration Technology Center

Tags: PIC


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