08 Feb 2018 | 12.56 pm
Pilot Photonics Raises €1 Million
Kernel Capital and Dublin BIC backing DCU spinout
08 Feb 2018 | 12.56 pm
Kernel Capital, through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Funds, has invested circa €1 million in Dublin City University spin-out Pilot Photonics, a developer of comb source laser technology.
The investment is in syndication with Dublin BIC.
Pilot Photonics was recently awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to develop laser communications systems for use in a range of advanced communications satellite systems.
Pilot Photonics, established in 2011, has developed what is billed as the world’s lowest cost, size, weight and power consuming optical comb source (OCS), absorbing one-third of the power of competing approaches.
Optical comb sources are a type of laser that emit on multiple wavelengths, or colours of light simultaneously. Photonic integration is a technique that combines multiple optical functions on a single photonic chip, and is analogous to the development of microchips in the 1960s which combined multiple electronic functions on a single silicon chip.
The technology, which is based on over ten years of research and development undertaken at DCU, Trinity College Dublin and Tyndall National Institute, has multiple applications across the communications, energy, safety, aerospace and defence sectors globally.
The company said the investment will enable it to expand the team and accelerate international growth plans.
CEO Frank Smyth commented: “Three years ago we took a strategic decision to pursue the development of a completely new technology platform centered around photonic integration. Securing this investment from Kernel Capital and DBIC is a strong validation of that strategy and the new business opportunities it has opened up.”
Photo Photonics Ltd had a negative net worth of €348,000 in December 2016, with accumulated losses since inception standing at €411,000.
Kernel Capital is an independent manager of the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds, comprising of €210m of funds raised through six separate venture capital funds in the years 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015.
These funds are supported by Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, University of Limerick Foundation, NUI Galway Foundation and New York State Common Retirement Fund.
Kernel Capital is actively investing through the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Funds, targeting deal size for Kernel Capital’s element in the region of €1m to €5m in the ROI and £0.5m to £2m in NI, either as sole investor or larger deal size in syndication.
Photo (l-r) Ger Goold of Kernel Capital, Frank Smyth and Kevin Healy, Bank of Ireland. (Pic: Jason Clarke)