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The University of Southampton

Mesophotonics wins extensive second-round funding

Published: 2 February 2004

University of Southampton spin-out company Mesophotonics, which develops photonic crystal technology for optical devices, has secured £5.5 million in second-round financing.

The over-subscribed offer attracted investment from leading venture capital companies in the UK, France and Japan.

Mesophotonics was founded in 2001 after nine years of research at the University, in partnership with investor BTG. This new financing represents a significant milestone for the company as it moves from prototyping to product development phase aimed at bringing a new class of photonic crystal optical devices to the market within two years. The company has already received its first purchase orders and is currently in discussions with a number of potential partners to bring further products to market.

Chief Executive Officer for Mesophotonics James McKenzie commented: "We are extremely pleased to attract some of the most well-known international investors in the high-tech industry. The possible markets for Mesophotonic's technology are vast and this new funding puts us on a firm footing to complete commercialisation of our exciting ideas. The team is already designing products to meet the visible light source demands of next generation projection display and optical storage manufacturers."

Investment company Quester led the second-round funding. Investment Director Jamie Brooke said: "Mesophotonics has the ideal combination of large market opportunities, well protected technology, and proven management talent that are key for a successful start-up company." Other participating investors include Auriga Partners (Paris), NIF Ventures (Tokyo) and existing investor BTG. As part of the investment, Jamie Brooke of Quester and François Lainée will join the Board of Mesophotonics.

Notes for editors

  1. Mesophotonics is commercialising breakthrough photonic crystal technology that allows light to be bent, routed and processed at sub-millimetre scale. This will enable multiple optical functions and complex systems to be implemented at high density on a single silicon chip, leading the way to low cost, high volume production of integrated optical devices. Additional optical devices will also be possible at efficiencies and sizes not previously achievable as photonic band gaps are used to modify fundamentally how light is generated inside photonic crystals.
  2. The company was founded in 2001 by Prof. Greg Parker and a team of 7 founders from 3 departments at the University of Southampton with expertise in modelling fabrication design and characterisation. Previous funding of £2.8 million was provided by BTG in 2001.
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
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