Vector Photonics has received over £2.4 million of equity investment to further commercialise its unique, all-semiconductor PCSEL technology. PCSELs (Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers) revolutionise semiconductor laser manufacture and performance, reducing power consumption, latency, physical connection size and costs. Vector Photonics is targeting the datacoms market, where its lasers significantly reduce the power consumption in next-generation datacentres and co-located optics applications. In future, PCSEL technology will also enable significant performance breakthroughs in metal and plastic printing, LiDAR, and optical sensing – some of the fastest growing technology markets in the world.
Neil Martin, CEO of Vector Photonics, said, “We are pleased to announce the £2.4 million equity investment in Vector Photonics, which comes from a group of specialist funding companies. Clean Growth Fund are the major investor, followed by the Foresight WAE Technology (FWT) Funds, with further investment support from the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), Scottish Enterprise and Equity Gap, who led this round.”
Clean Growth Fund and Scottish Enterprise are new investors in Vector Photonics. Clean Growth Fund is focused on clean tech companies which reduce carbon emissions and support a sustainable future, with Vector Photonics being the first Scottish company in its portfolio. Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency and works to transform the Scottish economy by helping businesses innovate and scale.
The remaining investors have been involved with Vector Photonics from the start. The FWT Funds invest in high growth-potential companies with innovative and transformational technologies; UKI2S is a specialist deep-tech seed fund focused on spin outs from the UK’s research base; and Equity Gap is an angel investment syndicate, investing at an early stage in new technology businesses throughout Scotland.
Vector Photonics produces PCSEL-based, III-V semiconductor lasers – the most significant innovation in laser design and manufacture for 30 years. The company is a spin-out company from the University of Glasgow; one of the UK and world’s Optical and Photonics centres of excellence. PCSELs (Photonic Crystal Surface-Emitting Lasers) are low cost, robust, have a broad wavelength range and high power. This is a unique combination of key characteristics which gives them a huge advantage over all other current, semiconductor laser technologies.
About Clean Growth Fund
Clean Growth Fund was launched in May 2020. It is a £101m venture capital fund that is targeting the UK’s most promising early-stage “clean growth” companies that are pioneering carbon emission reductions in the areas of power and energy, buildings, transport and waste. Its remit is to drive superior financial returns for investors and accelerate the development and commercialisation of clean growth technologies in the UK – leading to the creation of new and skilled jobs across the country and contributing to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050.
In addition to Vector Photonics, Clean Growth Fund has to date invested in nine other UK clean tech companies: https://www.cleangrowthfund.com/portfolio/
(www.cleangrowthfund.com / twitter @cleangrowthfund)
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Beverley Gower-Jones, Managing Partner: email@example.com
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Paul Taylor, Taylor Keogh Communications: +44 (0)7966 782611 / email@example.com
About the Foresight WAE Technology (FWT) Funds
Foresight and WAE Technologies started their investment collaboration in 2016 with the launch of the Foresight WAE Technology (FWT) EIS Fund. 2019 saw the launch of a sister fund, the Foresight WAE Technology (FWT) VCT share class, which sits within the Foresight Solar & Technology VCT plc. These two funds target investment in companies developing innovative and transformational technologies and where we believe Foresight’s and WAE’s expertise and services can be harnessed to assist with the development of the businesses, with the objective of achieving successful exits at high-value multiples.
For more information, please go to: https://fwt.foresight.group/
About Foresight Group
Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on ESG and sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 350 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bioenergy and waste, as well as renewable energy enabling projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and core infrastructure projects and sustainable forestry assets. Its private equity team manages ten regionally focused investment funds across the UK and an SME impact fund supporting Irish SMEs. This team reviews over 2,500 business plans each year and currently supports more than 250 investments in SMEs. Foresight Capital Management manages four strategies across six investment vehicles with an AUM of over £1.5 billion.
Foresight operates across seven countries in Europe and Australia with AUM of £12.5 billion. Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in February 2021. foresightgroup.eu/shareholders
About WAE Technologies (“WAE”)
WAE Technologies is a world-leading technology and engineering services business delivering pioneering innovation to improve performance, efficiency and sustainability to a global customer base. Combining cutting-edge technological advances and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from the ultra-competitive environment of motorsport, WAE’s capabilities cover a wide range of disciplines.
The company provides ground-breaking innovation covering advanced battery and electrification technologies and product development; aided by advanced simulation, testing, rapid prototyping and volume manufacturing. Working in close collaboration with our customers, WAE remains committed to meeting the continued sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.
The company can trace its foundations back to 2010 when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations; a division which later became Williams Advanced Engineering. WAE has grown from an embryonic business in 2010 to a company which employs approximately 500 people engaged in leading-edge and transformative technologies for a growing list of Tier 1 clients.
Following the acquisition by Fortescue Metals Group, which completed in March 2022, WAE will continue to service its existing customers and commercialise new technology opportunities, in addition to playing a key role in supporting Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy.
The Company was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2018.
For more information see www.wae.com, follow on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. It helps businesses innovate and scale to transform the Scottish economy by focusing on new market opportunity areas through targeted investment, innovation and internationalisation.
About Equity Gap
Equity Gap is an Edinburgh based angel investment syndicate, established to help match investors with entrepreneurs looking for early stage business funding. Equity Gap members currently invest in over 30 companies, leveraging over £70m in total investment into this portfolio. Equity Gap investee companies have created over 400 jobs, primarily in Scotland, across a range of sectors including consumer product, food and drink, life science and SaaS.
About the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)
UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that nurtures innovative businesses to leverage private investment and grow jobs, recycling profits from the realisation of our investments into the next generation of impactful UK companies. We invest in innovations emerging from the UK’s publicly funded science and knowledge base. We specialise in engineering, biology, defence & security, fusion energy, and help capitalise on UK public sector assets. Our investment decisions are based on both the potential societal impact of technologies and the potential for financial return. Over the past decade and more, the fund has built a substantial track record of companies that between them have attracted over £700m of later stage investment.
The fund is backed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTI), the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and other public bodies. It is independently managed by Future Planet Capital (Ventures) Ltd.