Capital-E led an 8.2 million euros ($9.5 million) Series B funding in Silicon Line, which develops low power optical link technology for electronics. Additional investors in the funding included LRM, Munich Venture Partners and Unixtar. Silicon Line will be used to increase production of the company’s optical modules, which are tiny circuit boards inside cable connectors; and upgrade Silicon Line’s module factory in Belgium. The company also will hire additional engineers and open customer support offices in Asia. Silicon Line raised a total of 23 million euros.
Silicon Line GmbH (www.silicon-line.com), the global leader in developing and providing innovative ultra-low-power optical link technology for consumer electronics as well as commercial and industrial markets, has raised €8.2m ($9.5m) in a Series B financing round led by Capital-E.
Additional investors in the Series B round include LRM, Munich Venture Partners and Unixtar. The financing will be used to ramp-up production of the company’s optical modules – tiny circuit boards inside cable connectors; upgrades to the company’s module factory located in Hasselt, Belgium; the hiring of additional design engineers; and opening of local customer support offices in Asia.
Capital-E, LRM and Munich Venture Partners are repeat investors from the company’s Series A round which closed in March 2015 and raised a total of €23m ($26.78m); Unixtar, one of the company’s partners, is a new investor.
Expanding Bandwidth Driving the Optical Interconnect Market
In many high-speed data applications, copper wire cables are reaching their physical limits in terms of connectivity – especially true for distances greater than one meter. Ultra-low-power optical link technology represents the path ahead for a broad range of consumer electronics and industrial applications. By some estimates, the optical interconnect market will reach $7b by 2020.
Other market drivers include:
the proliferation of personal, portable devices – including phones, tablets, notebooks, augmented and virtual reality headsets and more – placing a premium on thin, flexible, lightweight cables which minimize power consumption and susceptibility to electromagnetic interference;
specialized camera applications in healthcare, scientific research, national defense and other markets; and
size and weight considerations in a broad range of consumer/industrial segments including automotive, mobile devices and aviation.
“The Silicon Line team has built a formidable portfolio of technologies and products which are already influencing current and future product development in North America, Asia and Europe,” said Ruud van der Linden, CEO, Silicon Line. “We’re grateful to our funding partners – past and new – who are providing the resources required to allow the company to expand and take advantage of the market opportunity we have created.”
“In much the same way where copper cables began to collapse in data centers, there is now a significant role to play for active and passive optical cables in consumer and automotive electronics. Silicon Line has the critical components at scalable pricing levels to make this transformation to last,” said Pascal Vanluchene, partner, Capital-E.
“Silicon Line has achieved a great breakthrough in a high-tech market. As an investment company, we are very pleased to be able to give such a fast-growing company, operating from Corda Campus in Hasselt, Belgium, the extra boost they need,” said Lieven De Jonge, head of Smart Manufacturing, LRM.
“The Silicon Line Team has realized a remarkable breakthrough technology platform enabling many applications for international markets, such as consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial and new virtual reality/augmented reality,” said Rolf Nagel, managing director, Munich Venture Partners.
Capital-E is one of the few Venture Capital Funds in Europe with sole focus on investments in the area of micro/nano-electronics and advanced materials. Typically, the fund invests in companies making roughly 1 M€ in product sales. Capital-E invests mainly in Western Europe. The team of Capital-E plays an active role as partner and often as board member from the moment of first investment until the exit. More information about Capital-E can be found under http://www.capital-e.com.
LRM is an investment company that develops and stimulates economic growth in Limburg, a former mining region in Belgium. LRM provides a solid foundation so that companies and projects that create jobs in Limburg can grow. Our financial resources and expertise, together with the assets of our region, provide a unique breeding ground.
About Munich Venture Partners
MVP is the cleantech venture capital specialist based in Munich. As an independent venture capital organization, we have set ourselves a strong goal: To assist today’s innovators to become tomorrow’s market leaders. Munich Venture Partners concentrates on venture capital for high-tech start-up companies with growth-oriented and profit-generating projects. Our commitment focuses on Europe and on selected international investments. MVP is one of Germany’s largest cleantech venture capital specialists.
Established in 1986, Unixtar is an advanced electronics manufacturing company with multiple facilities in China and Cambodia. The company manufactures a broad range of cables and cable assemblies, consumer electronics products, electro-mechanical assemblies, circuit boards and active optical cables for major global customers. Unixtar has 4,500 employees and sales revenues of $130m.
About Silicon Line
Silicon Line GmbH is the global leader in ultra-low-power optical link technology enabling thin, lightweight and long high-speed cables for consumer electronics, commercial and industrial applications. The company develops and manufactures integrated circuits and modules which allow a simple, low-cost, high volume assembly of active optical cables. Founded in 2005, Silicon Line is based in Munich, Germany with offices in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and the United States.