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London Tech Week

VC firm PhotonVentures closes €60M to invest up to €2.5M in European deep tech startups

PhotonVentures founders
Picture credits: PhotonVentures

PhotonVentures, a deep tech VC firm, has launched a fund aimed at early-stage photonic chip startups and scaleups. It raised €60 million in its first financing round with PhotonDelta as the lead investor alongside numerous private investors. 

PhotonVentures plans to raise a total of €100 million to €150 million, with its final close set for the start of 2024. It will focus on Series A rounds, with the aim of providing investments between €1 million and €2.5 million. PhotonVentures’ investment strategy leverages the Dutch PhotonDelta ecosystem to accelerate European startups and scale-ups.

The fund plans to initially invest in 15 European deep-tech companies that have potential to grow into international winners in their sectors. The startups should have an integrated photonics-based MVP connected to the European ecosystem.

Joachim de Sterke, General Partner at PhotonVentures, said: “There are hundreds of incredibly promising startups 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 startups and scaleups. 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 startups over the next few years.”

René Penning de Vries, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PhotonDelta, said: “The integrated photonics industry is growing quickly but is short of investors with the knowledge and funding to back the sector’s ambitions. This is why creating the specialised fund PhotonVentures marks a significant milestone for the photonics industry and one which we are proud to be a part of. By transferring its existing portfolio, PhotonDelta was able to leverage its assets to attract more funds and kickstart the creation of PhotonVentures.”

Eyes to supercharge European photonics startups

Founded in 2014, PhotonDelta has made significant investments in photonics companies and R&D over the last five years. In backing the fund, PhotonDelta has taken another step forward in its goal of building a world-leading industry for integrated photonics in the Netherlands and Europe.

Last year, PhotonDelta secured €1.1 billion in public and private investment to scale up production, build 200 startups, create new applications for photonic chips and develop infrastructure and talent. 

The PhotonVentures board consists of Joachim de Sterke with a financial, legal and technical background with long-term investment experience; Pieter Klinkert, who joined PhotonDelta in 2021 and was the ex-investment manager at OostNL; and Rijkman Groenink, a former banker with vast experience in the financial sector.

PhotonVentures is an independent deep tech venture capital firm that has emerged from PhotonDelta, the pioneering force behind the Dutch integrated photonics ecosystem.

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