Rockley Photonics gains new investor for optics-based silicon chipset

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Rockley Photonics has just gotten a new investor.
Image: Rockley Photonics

From artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, several “trendy” markets need new, high-performance semiconductors to power their operations. That’s exactly the space that Rockley Photonics is gearing its business towards.

The seven-year-old company just announced that its silicon photonics platform has received a boost thanks to a new investor—Ahren Innovation Capital.

The investment firm focuses on companies serving the intersection of deep tech and deep science. Rockley Photonics fits the mold perfectly. It says that the new funding will help it remain ahead of its competition in the years to come.

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Ahren’s Funding Promise

Both Rockley Photonics and Ahren Innovation Capital announced the latter’s investment on Thursday. The financial details remain unknown at this time.

This latest investment comes just months after Rockley collected $52 million in Series E funding in July of last year.

Founder and CEO Andrew Rickman said in a company press release, “Ahren’s Partners have exceptional credibility and their support for Rockley further validates our technology, strategy and our experienced team.”

He goes on to note that the new funding will help Rockley continue to expand its operations and come up with innovative solutions to modern-day technology problems. He says, “Silicon photonics enables novel solutions that unlock extraordinary application capabilities. Our unique manufacturing processes, expertise and solutions put us several years ahead of the competition.”

Ahren Innovation Capital focuses on building up transformational companies that work across four fields. These include genetics, AI, space and robotics, and efficient energy.

Alice Newcombe-Ellis, founding and managing partner of Ahren, says, “Rockley’s platform aligns closely with our interests and spans very well across the application space of our target markets, especially as an enabling technology in new AI and healthcare opportunities.”

She also says that, “By starting with a clean sheet and designing a bespoke fabrication process, Rockley has created a highly versatile platform solution. Importantly, the technology can be manufactured cheaply and at scale for high-volume markets.”

Rockley Photonics’ Tech

Rockley’s silicon photonics platform allows its products to excel in a variety of industries. For instance, in sectors like AI and datacenter computing where huge amounts of data are processed, the use of photonics helps chips perform without the limitations of electrical connections.

Meanwhile, the technology is also helpful for the sensor industry. Rockley’s low cost, integrated-optic solutions are extremely sought after for applications like machine learning and environmental sensing. As those areas are experiencing tremendous growth at the moment, such components will continue to be in high demand.

Thanks to the new investment from Ahren, Rockley Photonics will continue to innovate in the photonics world.

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